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JLOS reviews Case Backlog Reduction Programme

The Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) on Monday March 7, 2011 held a conference at Imperial Royale Hotel here in Kampala to review the sector’s Case Backlog Reduction Program. Participants in the one day event reviewed the successes and challenges faced by the sector’s Case backlog Quick Wins Reduction programme which was launched in March 2010 with a short term target of clearing 18,400 old cases and a long term objective of decongesting prisons and expediting the adjudication of disputes.

Overall the programme was able to clear more than 80,000 cases across various JLOS institutions and led to reduction in the remand to convict ration from 3:1 to 2:1 and prison congestion from 224% to 210%.

The Chief Justice, His Lordship Justice Benjamin Odoki who was also the chief guest in a key note address highlighted several achievements of the JLOS case backlog reduction programme including reduction of the average time capital offenders spend on remand from 29 months to 15 months, 5.4% reduction in prison congestion, weeding out of 75,600 cases by Uganda Police Force, representing 69% of criminal cases registered annually, decentralizing the sitting of the Court of Appeal and completion of 504 cases by the Uganda Human Rights Commission.

The Deputy Attorney General and Minister of State for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Hon. Fred Ruhindi noted that sustainable backlog reduction required the sector to innovate for in innovation lay the weapon to deal with a formidable enemy like case backlog.

JLOS plans to roll out the case backlog reduction program in the entire country focusing on prioritization of civil cases through heightened sessions;increasing the powers of registrars in criminal and civil cases; appointment of more judges; strengthening the District Chain Linked Committees (DCCs) to deal with case backlog at district level; use of information and communication technologies (ICT) through the introduction of an integrated data management system to serve all criminal justice agencies and facilitate timely handling of cases, rolling out alternative dispute resolution and the small claims procedure, plea bargaining and adopting performance management across all the JLOS institutions.

 

By Edgar Kuhimbisa | Published: March 7 2011