On Wednesday April 20, 2016, the Managing Director of the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) Mr. Martin Ledolter toured sector investments in Isingiro district in the company of several ADC officials and JLOS Secretariat staff led by the Senior Technical Advisor.
During the visit, the team visited Isingiro Justice Centre where a meeting with court users, local leaders and members of the Isingiro DCC was held. The team was later given a tour of the picturesque justice centre (Court, Police, and DPP offices). We later visited Isingiro Government Prison where the team interacted with inmates on issues of access to justice and service delivery.
Mr. Ledolter pledged continued ADC support to sector initiatives and acknowledged the value of ensuring access to justice especially for the vulnerable and poor.
By Edgar Kuhimbisa | Published: April 21, 2016
KAMPALA - The Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) yesterday (April 25 2016) bade farewell to Ms Simone Ungersboeck who has been serving as the Advisor (Good Governance) at the Austrian Embassy (Austrian Development Cooperation). Ms Ungersboeck's 4-year term of service at ADC (Kampala) ended and will be returning to Vienna later this week.
During a luncheon held in her honor at Speke Hotel in Kampala, the Chief Guest – H.W Paul Gadenya the Chief Registrar (courts of judicature) and Alternate Chair of the JLOS Steering Committee applauded Ms Ungersboeck for her tireless work ethic and effort that were instrumental in successful sector projects and initiatives funded by Austria – such as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Management for Development Results (MfDR).
Present at the event from ADC was Mr. Günter Engelits (head of office) and Ms. Doris Gebru-Zeilermayr (the incoming Advisor – Good Governance).
We wish Ms Ungersboeck the very best in her new assignment.
Published: April 26, 2016 08.27 hrs
KAMPALA - The Austrian government through the Austria Development Agency (ADA) has agreed to support the Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) for the next 2 financial years – 2015/16 and 2016/17 to a tune of four (4) million euros. The budget support fund – worth about Ushs 15.5 billion is contained in agreement signed on July 3 2015 between ADA (representing the Austrian Government) and the Government of the Republic of Uganda (represented by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development).
The funds are oriented toward support to the implementation of the JLOS Third Strategic Investment Plan (SIP III) launched in 2012 spanning five (5) financial years. The support received from Austria shall go toward implementation of SIP III priority areas of strengthening the legal and policy environment; enhancing access to services provided by institutions involved in the administration of justice and maintenance of law and order (investigation, prosecution, adjudication, correctional and general dispute resolution et cetera); the promotion of human rights observance; and support to JLOS institutions involved in the fight against corruption.
According to the agreement that was signed by Hon. Matia Kasaija, the minister of finance, planning and economic development on behalf of GoU while Mr. Martin Ledolter on behalf of ADA, 2m euros (about 7.7 bn) shall be disbursed in the current financial year (2015/16) and the remaining balance released in the FY 2016/17 upon satisfactory progress in meeting the agreed performance indicators.
Austria, a member of the JLOS Development Partners Group has been at the forefront of support to the Justice, Law and Order Sector for more than a decade through funding to various initiatives that have positively transformed the administration of justice and the rule of law in Uganda. Currently, Austria through ADA is supporting the implementation of the Alternative Disputes Resolution Project (ADR) in a grant worth 342,436 euros (about Shs 1.4 bn). Other specific initiatives in JLOS supported by Austria include the Management for Development Results (MfDR) – a capacity building project whose objective is to empower sector staff with management and service delivery skills.
By Edgar Kuhimbisa/ Published: July 8, 2015
KAMPALA -- The Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) today launched the rollout of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) from the Commercial Court of the High Court to other courts and dispute resolution bodies within the JLOS sector. ADR is a mediation process that allows parties to a dispute find a quick solution with the assistance of a neutral third party, without going through the costly and lengthy court process.
Originally piloted in the Commercial Court, ADR is now being rolled out to the other High Court Divisions of Civil, Family, Land and Magistrate Courts. ADR services will also be available in the other JLOS dispute resolution bodies like the Industrial Court, Judicial Service Commission, Uganda Human Rights Commission, the Law Council, the Directorate of Civil Litigation, Uganda Law Society and the Office of the Administrator General.
The Project is expected to contribute to the implementation of the JLOS 3rd Strategic Investment Plan (SIPIII), particularly with regard to increasing the use of ADR in dispute resolution.
The Project will also focus on training a pool of professional mediators across the country, strengthening of court registries for mediation in the Judiciary, conducting sensitization and community outreach programmes. The plan further includes the establishment of a fully-fledged High Court Division for Mediation in the Judiciary and harmonizing structures across JLOS institutions.
Supported by the Austrian Development Agency, the ADR Project provides the JLOS Sector with an opportunity to implement the Judicature (Mediation) Rules of 2013, which makes mediation mandatory in all civil matters including land, family and main civil law.
“Through mediation, the Project provides access to justice for vulnerable and marginalised people whose cases take long to be concluded in the formal justice system,” said Justice David Wangutusi, the chairperson, ADR Project Advisory Board. “Investors and local businessmen would like to do business in a country where disputes would be easily resolved. Much of the money used by these businesses is borrowed from banks at high interest rates. Such money tied up in disputes that stretch over a long time only leads to multiplication of bank interest, and therefore cost of operation, which directly impacts on the profits which the businessman makes, at times leading to collapse of big business ventures.”
The judge says ADR principles shall apply equally to claims in family, civil and land matters. “It is therefore with mediation that the ever-growing backlog can be checked and access to justice enhanced,” added Justice Wangutusi.
In the early 2000, mediation was piloted in the Commercial Court as an alternative to litigation, and many cases were successfully mediated. Judicial officers were left with time to try cases which are ordinarily not amenable to mediation – substantially increasing the productivity of the courts, satisfaction, and confidence of court users in the justice system.
Mediation and arbitration have been on the increase since the creation of the Centre for Arbitration and Dispute Resolution (CADER) in 2000. Between 2003 and 2005 the Commercial Court Division implemented the mediation Pilot Project whereby cases were referred to CADER for mediation.
Mediation became a permanent feature at the Commercial Court with the passing of the Judicature (Mediation) Rules 2013. Following the success story at the Commercial Court, it was decided to rollout mediation at all the courts with the gazetting of the Mediation Rules 2013. It is therefore important that mediation should be embraced by all to win the war on backlog and increase access to justice.
Published: March 18 2015
Officials from the Austria Development Cooperation (ADC) on Thursday visited various JLOS institutions in Lira District as part of a fact finding mission to assess progress in several Austria-funded programs in the Justice, Law and Order Sector. The visiting team comprised of Mr Peter Launsky (Director General for Development Cooperation in the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs); Mr Martin Ledolter - Managing Director / ADA); Ms Simone Knapp (Head of Office / ADA Uganda); Ms Mona Ungersboeck (Programme Officer Governance / ADA Uganda) and Ms Gerda Ludvik - spouse to the Director General for Development Cooperation.
The Austrian delegation were taken on a guided tour of Lira Prison by the Officer-in-Charge, Ms Maureen Ninsiima in the company of various officials from sector institutions that included Mr. Sam Wairagala (Ag. Deputy Senior Technical Advisor, JLOS Secretariat); Mr. Frank Baine (Public Relations Officer, Uganda Prisons); officials from the Paralegal Advisory Services, staff from the office of the Resident State Attorney, Justice Centres Uganda and the Courts of Judicature.
During the Prison tour, the Austrian delegation interacted with the prisoners as well as prison officials on issues of human rights, welfare and trials in the courts. In his address to the prisoners, Mr. Ledolter commended the work being done by the paralegal advisory services in the administration of justice especially in prison installations. He said expressed Austria’s commitment improving the living conditions of prisoners citing the Austrian-funded initiatives in the water and sanitation development sector that largely focus on hygiene and clean water supply. Mr Peter Launsky said that Austria in partnership with the Justice, Law and Order Sector was committed to ensuring justice for all those incarcerated in prisons.
Later on in the day, a meeting between the visiting Austria delegation and officials from JLOS institutions was held at the Lira High Court chaired by the Resident Judge, Justice Dr. Winfred Nabisinde. During the interactive meeting, issues of service delivery were discussed and solutions proposed to the identified impediments, challenges and gaps.
Asked about his assessment of the sector in an interview with JLOS.GO.UG, Mr. Martin Ledolter commended the “tremendous progress” achieved by JLOS citing achievements in access to justice and human rights such as improvement in living conditions of prisoners, access to legal services through Justice Centres Uganda and the Paralegal advisory services. He however said that a lot still has to be done especially in regard to issues of case backlog in the courts which have led to an increase in prisoners on remand.
Mr. Launsky also disclosed in an interview that Austria is in the process of developing another five-year country strategy for Uganda (2015 – 2020). The current Austria Country Strategy ends in 2015. He said that Austria is committed to continued support to the Justice, Law and Order Sector given the progress made in various intervention areas over the last five years.
Austria Development Cooperation
The Austria Development Cooperation has been at the forefront of sector reforms through financial support to the JLOS work plan for the last 13 years. The Austrian Development Agency (ADA) is the operational unit of the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC). It is in charge of implementing all bilateral programs and projects in ADC's partner countries and administers the budget earmarked for this.
By Edgar Kuhimbisa in Lira district | Published: November 28 2014
The Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) in conjunction with the Institute for International Criminal Investigations(IICI), Public International Law and Policy Group(PILPG) and Judicial Studies Institute(JSI)