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Monday, 16 October 2017 12:32

Chief Justice Visits U.S State Department

 

WASHINGTON, DC: The Chief Justice, Bart M. Katureebe, on Tuesday October 10 2017 visited the United State of America’s State Department where he held a high-level meeting with the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Randy Berry.

Leading a delegation of Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) key players and the International Justice Mission officials, the CJ engaged the department on matters of human rights and independence of the courts, freedom of expression and support to civil society structures.

Mr Berry said his Department is keenly interested in issues of the rule of law, access to justice particularly elimination of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV).

He expressed gratitude towards the partnership between IJM and Uganda's JLOS and hoped it will go a long way in supporting Uganda Judiciary and JLOS’ initiatives in improving access to justice.

The CJ said that improving access to justice is a fundamental issue now facing the courts and the entire justice sector.

“The sector has put in place a number of innovations geared at improving access to justice for all persons in Uganda but more particularly the marginalised and vulnerable groups,” said Justice Katureebe. “These include Plea Bargaining, Sentencing Guidelines, Audio-Visual Link technology, computerisation of court processes, gender-based training, development and publication of gender and other bench books, among others.”

CJ further noted that Uganda has taken the approach of creating Justice Centres to ensure presence of the police, the prosecution, the courts, the prisons and probation service. This is to ensure that the whole chain is complete from investigation, prosecution, adjudication, correctional and psycho-social support.

He said the major issue is resourcing of the Sector to be able to have a presence and competent human resource throughout the country.

The State Department also expressed interest in traditional and local systems of dispute resolution which have the capacity of easing the burden on the formal courts.

The Department was informed about Uganda’s system of Local Council Courts, which are currently non-operational because of absence of elected Local Councils. The local council system is yet to be fully developed. The transitional justice system is also undergoing development in Uganda.

CJ noted that there is need identify the causes of human rights abuses to identify the causes, one of which being inadequate training on the part of JLOS actors.

The CJ highlighted the importance of the Judicial Training Institute in the Judiciary, adding that there was need to effectively resource it so it can build the capacity of the various JLOS actors through regular trainings.

In a related development, the Chief Justice and team also met with US House of Representatives Congressman Chris Smith, the Chair of the African Sub-Committee for Foreign Affairs together with other members of the Congress.

Congressman Smith said that issues of violence against women and children constitute one of the greatest challenges facing many countries in the World. He further stated that human trafficking, particularly for sex and labour exploitation, is awfully real and ought to be fought by everyone at all fronts.

The Chief Justice said Uganda was looking at getting as many partners as possible in a bid to effectively execute the respective mandates of each institution of government and civil society.

“The reason for coming out here therefore is to borrow best practices and to confer with our partners on the best way to address these issues. We have had effective partnerships with IJM and Pepperdine University which we are building on,” he said.

 

Agreed issues of mutual cooperation and assistance include:

a) Training of judicial officers and other justice actors in the specific areas of SGBV and human trafficking to ensure a competent and effective administration of justice. 

b) Advocacy towards improved support to ensure strong governance and strong justice institutions.

c) Targeted assistance to particular programs in the JLOS sector; programs that will make a significant improvement to access to justice for the common person. Taking care of the rights of the lowest person means protection to all

 

By Andrew Khaukha // Published: October 16, 2017

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WASHINGTON DC: United States-based International Justice Mission (IJM) has renewed its commitment to develop Uganda’s expertise for the efficient and professional administration of justice.

The Chief Justice, Bart M. Katureebe, on Monday October 9,2017 signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IJM on behalf of the Uganda Government of Uganda – Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) at the IJM Headquarters in Washington D.C.

The support will be concentrated towards capacity building in areas of reducing case backlog, improving case management and management of records and court registries, plea bargaining and sentencing guidelines.

Other areas of support will include improving court recording management and filing, internship and externship programmes, judgment writing and general promoting innovations in the administration of justice, with particular regard to the indigent, marginalised and victims of gender based violence and violence against children.

In attendance included Uganda Ambassador to the US, Mull Katende; Solicitor General, Francis Atoke, Judiciary Chief Registrar, Gadenya Paul Wolimbwa; and Deputy DPP, Alfred Olem-Ogwal. Others included JLOS Senior Technical Advisor, Rachael Odoi Musoke; Judiciary Technical Advisor, Andrew Khaukha; Private Legal Secretary to the Chief Justice, Boniface Wamala, and a number of senior IJM officials.

In his remarks, the Chief Justice thanked IJM for the work they are doing in Uganda and globally. He said many people in Uganda and the world at large live amidst untold injustice, yet efforts to address such injustices are never enough. “I am delighted that organisations like IJM come in to support the Judiciary in alleviating such human suffering. The activities of IJM are central to the goal of improving access to Justice,” said Justice Katureebe.

The new MoU is an expansion of an earlier one that was between the Uganda Judiciary and IJM with the object of expanding and enhancing mutual cooperation in strategic areas.

Under the old MoU, the IJM has carried out a number of access to Justice initiatives in the districts of Mukono, Gulu, Fort Portal and Kamwenge.

In partnership with the Ugandan Judiciary, the organisation launched two model court houses, operationalising an electronic case administration system, organising more than 100,000 court records, installing and operationalising a stenographic recording system, and developing workflow improvements to enhance efficiency.

IJM also worked with the police and prosecutors to bring criminal cases against perpetrators – especially in cases of violence and property grabbing crimes. #

 

By Andrew Khaukha // Published: October 16, 2017

Published in Latest News

 

My Lord the Deputy Chief Justice
My Lord the Principal Judge
Honourable Ministers
Honourable Justices of the Supreme Court
Honourable Justices of the Court of Appeal
Your Excellency, the Ambassador of Ireland and Chairperson of JLOS Development Partners Group
Your Excellences, Heads of Diplomatic Missions to Uganda
The Secretary to Cabinet and Head of the Public Service
Heads of JLOS Institutions
The Solicitor General and Chairperson JLOS Steering Committee
Members of the JLOS Steering and Technical Committees
Heads of Government Agencies and Departments
Partners and stakeholders from civil society
Invited guests
Ladies and Gentlemen


It is my honour to welcome you all to this 20th Joint Annual JLOS Government of Uganda - Development Partners Review. The review is an opportunity to once again take time to reflect on what we have achieved in the past year, and those tasks still ahead of us. I thank our partners for their continued support, in terms of the resources provided but also with regard to the partnership, engagement and joint implementation of projects.


I wish note however, that this was a challenging year where the share of the JLOS budget as a proportion of the national budget dropped by 19% from 6.7% to 5.4% and worse still, the development budget dropped by 45% from 0.4% to 0.22% as a share of the national budget. This budget performance notwithstanding, the Sector was able to achieve commendable performance in the financial year.
I thank the JLOS institutions for their continued service and efforts towards the progress that we have been able to register thus far. I take this opportunity to acknowledge those who we have lost, who have contributed to the growth and the successes we have achieved this year.


I recognise the late General Aronda Nyakairima, Minister of Internal Affairs and member of the Leadership Committee for his exemplary leadership in the reforms in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control, and for ably guiding the National Identity Card project and the creation of the National Identity and Registration Authority. I wish also to recognise the late Joan Namazzi Kagezi, Senior Principal State Attorney for her tireless efforts in the investigation and prosecution of terrorism, war crimes and crimes against humanity and her commitment to justice for victims in situations of conflict. I also wish to recognise the late Paul Bogere, Commissioner for Local Council Courts in the Ministry of Local Government who was at the forefront of the project to strengthen and reform the operations of the Local Council Courts as bastions of justice at the grassroots. We salute them and all those who have departed in the year past.


I commend them and all the Sector institutions and staff for their efforts to address the needs of the most vulnerable members of our society, whether in the villages, in communities emerging from conflict or in the towns and cities where they remain vulnerable as a result of poverty or unemployment. As a Sector we acknowledge that vulnerability is a key obstacle to attaining justice for all and we endeavor to profile and target interventions that will alleviate the challenges that the poor and most vulnerable face in accessing justice.

 

READ FULL SPEECH

 

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JINJA - The Chief Justice, Hon. Justice Bart Katurebe has urged institutions involved in the administration of justice and the rule of law to devise stronger partnerships as a way of ensuring effective and well-coordinated service delivery. The CJ made these remarks while addressing members of the Jinja District Chain-link committee (DCC) and other JLOS officials that converged at Bugungu prison, Jinja district on June 10, 2015. District chain-link committees comprise of JLOS institutions with a presence at district level established to oversee and coordinate JLOS programs and activities through coordination, communication and cooperation.

Hon. Bart Katurebe was on a one-day tour of Jinja districts organized by the Justice, Law and Order Sector – the first of its kind since his appointment as chief justice in March 2015. The Chief Justice was accompanied by the Hon. Kahinda Otafiire, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs; Hon. Alex Onzima, the minister of state for local government; Hon. Yorokamu Bamwiine, the Principal judge; members of the JLOS development partners group led by the Irish ambassador, H.E Donal Cronin; and other members of the JLOS leadership, steering and technical committee.

During the meeting with DCCs, reports from various JLOS institutions were presented on the current state of operations – from the Police, Prisons service, Uganda Law society, Directorate of Public Prosecutions, the Judiciary, Justice Centres Uganda, Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development (Juvenile Justice) and the Uganda Human Rights Commission. The Chief Justice appreciated the work each institution is doing in enhancing access to justice to the people of Jinja and commended their efforts even in the midst of challenges such as inadequate staffing, office accommodation and other infrastructure. The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Hon. Kahinda Otafiire said that the Justice, Law and Order Sector is in the final stages of designing a project that will ensure every district has a “justice centre” – a one stop facility housing front line JLOS institutions to solve office accommodation and space challenges.

The commissioner general of prisons, Dr. Johnson Byabashaija in his remarks thanked the the JLOS leadership for to visiting Bugungu Prison facility. He specifically thanked the Chief Justice for choosing to visit a prison institution on his first JLOS field visit since his appointment earlier this year. Dr. Byabashaija requested that Uganda Prisons be included in the Justice Centres project because of the key role it plays in the overall criminal justice chain and in view of the accommodation challenges it faces due to large prisoner populations.

Earlier, the Chief Justice was taken on a guided tour of Bugungu group of prisons, accompanied by prison officials for an onsite assessment of prisoner living conditions.

 

By Edgar Kuhimbisa in Jinja / Published: June 13, 2015

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Friday, 12 June 2015 07:13

We are ready to work – Chief Justice

 

JINJA – The Justice, Law and Order Sector continues to be dedicated to ensuring effective and efficient administration of justice and the rule of law. The Chief Justice, Hon. Justice Bart Katurebe made this declaration while addressing residents of Jinja during a visit to the district organized by the Justice, Law and Order Sector on June 10 2015. Justice Katurebe who is also the chairperson of the JLOS Leadership committee was publicly meeting Jinja residents gathered at Jinja High Court to assess the state of service delivery by JLOS institutions in the district. In what can be described as a baraza moderated by the Solicitor General  - Mr. Francis Atoke, members of the public were allowed to ask questions and put forward their concerns, complaints and grievances with sector officials providing responses. Those who were not able to voice their concerns had their issues documented by JLOS officials for further action by the relevant institutions.

In his speech, the Chief Justice said that he and his team from the Judiciary and other JLOS institutions are set to making the sector open and accountable to the people. He said that his office had established toll free numbers the public could use to directly voice any complaints and report cases of abuse of office by Judicial officers. The office of the Chief Justice directly manages the toll free lines.

The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Hon. Kahinda Otafiire told the gathering that government is aware of the various challenges they face on a daily basis and continues to devise solutions based to the available resources. He said that given the long list of priorities and a limited resource envelope, some interventions may delay with the most pressing issues being addressed first such as security of people’s lives and property. He reiterated the Sector’s commitment to construction of more office facilities for JLOS institutions through the Justice Centres initiative.

H.E Donal Cronin, the Irish ambassador to Uganda and the current chair of the JLOS Development Partners Group (DPG) applauded the efforts of JLOS in bringing services closer to the people – especially the vulnerable and marginalized. He also congratulated the Justice Katurebe upon his recent appointment to the position of Chief Justice and said the development partners are looking forward to a more fruitful partnership with the sector. The Chief Justice on his part thanked the JLOS development partners for their continued support to the sector and for “sticking around even when the going got tough” – in reference to massive donor cuts to government last year in the wake of the passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

The Chief Registrar Mr. Paul Gadenya and officials from the JLOS Secretariat and Jinja High Court were later hosted on local radio talk show where they continued to engage the public on issues affecting the administration of justice and the rule of law in Jinja district.

 

By Edgar Kuhimbisa in Jinja / Published: June 12, 2015

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President Yoweri Museveni has appointed Hon. Justice Bart Magunda Katureebe  as the new Chief Justice of the Republic of Uganda. In a statement released by State House on March 5 2015, His Excellency the President also appointed Justice Stephen Kavuma as the Deputy Chief Justice. Justice Katurebe is a judge of the Supreme Court of Uganda while Justice Kavuma who has been the Ag. Chief Justice is a judge of the Court of Appeal.

Justice Katurebe , 64 who has previously served as the Attorney General, will by virtue of his new appointment become the Chairperson of the JLOS Leadership Commitee.

 

 @JLOSUganda

 

By Edgar Kuhimbisa | Published: March 5, 2015

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