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Judiciary ICT Strategy Launched

The Chief Justice Hon. Justice Bart Katurebe presiding over the launch of the Small Claims Procedures (SCP) Activity Report for 2015/16 and Judiciary ICT Strategy at the High Court building in Kampala on September 20, 2017 (PHOTO: Judiciary PR) The Chief Justice Hon. Justice Bart Katurebe presiding over the launch of the Small Claims Procedures (SCP) Activity Report for 2015/16 and Judiciary ICT Strategy at the High Court building in Kampala on September 20, 2017 (PHOTO: Judiciary PR)

 

Chief Justice Bart Katureebe has today launched a 5-year ICT that will see most of the court activities automated to facilitate efficient delivery of justice.

At the same occasion, the Judiciary also launched the Small Claims Procedure Annual Performance Report 2015/16, indicating a rise in court users' recoveries using this new justice innovation to Shs8 billion.

The ICT Strategy would, among other things, ensure that court users who cannot appear in court physically due to various reasons like infancy, old age, distance and costs can give their testimony via audiovisual link.

While officially launching the Strategy, the Hon. Katureebe thanked President Museveni for fulfilling his pledge of supporting the Judiciary to automate its courts. He said the government so far provided Shs6 billion to start the implementation of the Strategy, out of the Shs36 billion required.

“You remember two years ago, when the President had a meeting with the judges and we presented a budget of over Shs36 billion for over a five-year period and the President directed the Ministry of Finance to look into it and start. So this must be one of the promises that has finally come through and I am very grateful,” said the Chief Justice.

"I want to thank the colleagues from the Ministry of Finance for having provided Shs6 billion to start with and we are hoping that it will be sustained."

Hon. Katureebe also tasked the Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Judiciary, Mr Kagole Kivumbi, to ensure that the funds received for the ICT Strategy are fully utilised, without waste.

“Every cent here in this project, will have to go towards what is supposed to do. You may wonder why we are here under the sun instead of being in a hotel somewhere, we want every cent to go on this project and we want this project to succeed and we want to account to the people who have given us this money,” said the Chief Justice.

Explaining the importance of the ICT Strategy launch, Justice Geoffrey Kiryabwire, who chairs Judiciary's Technology Committee, said court users would follow their court cases on smartphones, a scenario he said would reduce human to human contact that will help in curbing petty corruption.

On the Small Claims Procedure (SCP) Performance and Activity Report for the years 2015/16, Justice Geoffrey Kiryabwire, who also chairs the SCP Implementation Committee, said the posted financial recoveries by court litigants is a significant and it translates into a huge number of court users who have benefited from this innovation that was launched in 2012.

SCP was established by the Judiciary to adjudicate over claims whose subject matter does not exceed Shs10m and a lawyer is not involved. Such matters that are usually quickly disposed off like in less than a month, arise from supply of goods, debts or rent arrears among other commercial disputes.

Also the new report indicates that among the 11 pilot SCP courts, Mengo Court registered the highest activity as regards the filing of cases that fall under the category of Small Claims. 

Mengo registered 500 cases and disposed off 437 of them in the last financial year, followed by Makindye court that registered 359 cases and disposed off 338 of them.

Justice David Wangutusi, who heads the High Court Commercial Division, said he is also a beneficiary of the Small Claims Procedure. He explained that after chasing after his tenant for long without paying rent,  he opted to Small Claims and that his sturbon tenant cleared him the following day.

 

Source: Judiciary / Published: September 20, 2017