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KAMPALA - Chief Justice Bart Katureebe launched a video conferencing system Monday to help in expediting the handling of criminal cases at magisterial level while at the same time minimising the cost of transporting suspects.The new system, which links Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s Court and Luzira Maximum Prison Virtual Court, was launched at the former court.

Since 2001, the Judiciary has been transforming its structures to adapt to new technology in order to improve efficiency, tackle case backlog and reduce bureaucracy in handling of cases filed before it, and bring justice closer to the ordinary people.So far the institution has implemented four ICT strategies, but Katureebe noted that their biggest setback to achieving full digitalisation of its structures is underfunding.

Speaking at the launch, Katureebe he said the Judiciary has been grappling with case delays and case backlog in the administration of justice. However, he noted that the system will easily connect parties to a case, including interpreters and law enforcers with the magistrate’s court in real time. For a start, the system will connect the magistrate’s to Luzira prison’s virtual courts fitted at the male and women’s wings using video conferencing facilities. Each of the courts is fitted with virtual servers, big flat screens and cameras to relay sound and video.

Katureebe said they are starting with cases slated for mention and those that have no witnesses. The prisoners with such cases will be taken to the virtual courts  within the prison where they will be allowed to follow the proceedings during the mention through video conferencing.This will work for not only cases at Buganda Road court but also for other magistrate’s courts in Kampala and Wakiso, such as the Mengo court.

 

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Published: April 15, 2019

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The Chairperson of Parliament's Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon.Jacob Oboth Oboth assured the Judiciary that the Administration of the Judiciary Bill is on track. "It is not true that the Administration of the Judiciary Bill has been rejected. Some members of the (NRM) Caucus just raised concerns about the bit to do with payment of 100 percent salary to retired judges," he said.

"The good thing is that the Committee Report on the Bill is not a bad one. What you need to know is that members of the NRM Caucus also need some awareness about the intentions of the Bill. Ideally, things are not as bad as they have been portrayed."

Hon. Oboth made the remarks during an interface between the Judiciary and the Committee on Tuesday as the Judiciary presented its Policy Statement for 2019/20 FY to the Committee.

Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Judiciary,Mr. Kagole E. Kivumbi, led a 21-man delegation to Parliament for an appearance before the Parliament's Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

 

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Published: April 3, 2019

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The Principal Judge, Hon. Justice Dr Yorokamu Bamwine, flagged off a hands on training on Case Preparation on Plea Bargaining at Mbarara Main Prison.The training attracted actors in the criminal justice system as well as a team comprised legal experts as well as students from Pepperdine and Yale universities. The team was led by Prof Danny DeWalt, the Associate Dean Administration and Leadership Development at Pepperdine University.

In a brief made by SP Innocent Draville, the Officer in Charge of Mbarara Main Prison 300 inmates had expressed willingness to take part in the exercise."Initially only 118 inmates had enrolled for Plea Bargaining but when the Mbarara Senior Resident Judge came and sensitized inmates, another 110 signed up...we also got 67 others from Kakyika and eight women," said SP Draville.

Mbarara Main Prison holds 1,820 inmates, of these 856 are remand committals and 655 are convicts.

 

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Published: March 12, 2019

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KAMPALA - With just two judges, a single division of the High Court collected about Shs20 billion in form of non-tax revenue for the country in one year, the Principal Judge has revealed.

Hon. Justice Dr. Yorokamu Bamwine made the revelation while officiating at the opening of a Taxation Training for Judges and members of the Tax Appeals Tribunal on February 21 at the Lake Victoria Serena Hotel in Kigo. He said the Anti-Corruption Court raised revenues of Shs 885,320,228 in 2018 through fines, and Shs 19,043,989,691 through asset recovery orders.

"In terms of revenue collection through Judiciary, this is unprecedented," said Hon. Justice Dr Bamwine, adding, "The Judiciary can be a strategic mobilize of resources.Imagine if you (the government) gave us three more Judges in the Anti-Corruption Court alone? Just give us more judges and improve their welfare and then wait for the results."

 

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Published: March 1, 2019

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KAMPALA - H.E President Yoweri K. Museveni today opened the 21st edition of the Annual Judges Conference at Kampala Serena Hotel. The President also launched several innovations such as electronic payment of court fees, online legal research solutions and client feedback platforms all aimed at enhancing the performance of the Judiciary and increased access to justice. This year's Judges conference is being held under the theme: "Judicial Ethics and integrity: A Precondition for Improved Access to Justice and Sustainable Development".

 

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Published: January 28, 2019

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The Supreme Court in Kampala today morning began hearing an appeal challenging the upholding of the amendment of the lower and upper age limit in the Constitution.

A group of three parties including the Uganda Law Society, lawyer Male Mabirizi and 11 MPs led by Winnie Kiiza are challenging the judgment by the Constitutional Court that okayed the removal of presidential age limit from the Constitution.

A panel of 7 judges including the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe,Paul Mugamba,Stella Amoko Arach, Ruby Apio Aweri, Jotham Tumwesigye, Eldad Mwanguhya and Lillian Tibatemwa Ekirikubinza will hear the petition for two days before delivering a judgment on the matter.

 

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Published: January 15, 2019

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Tuesday, 15 January 2019 09:41

11 Judicial Officers Transferred

 

The judiciary has transferred 11 judicial officers at the level of Registrars, Chief magistrates and Grade one magistrates. According to a circular dated 13th January 2019 by the judiciary communication department, the changes were announced on 11th January by the Chief Registrar Ms Esta Nambayo who said that they will be effected on 1st February 2019

“Two of the transferred judicial officers have just returned from their study leave abroad and we had to deploy them. The others were moved to newly created magisterial areas to take services nearer to the people” Esta Nambayo said

The affected judicial officers included Cissy Mudhasi whoo was moved from High court Mpigi to Mukono, Rwatooro Muhendo from Execution and Baillifs to High court Mpigi and Flavia Nabakooza from Mukono High court to Baillif and Execution

The chief magistrates affected were Patricia Amoko from Buganda Road court to Ntungamo chief magistrates court, Lubowa Daniel from acting chief magistrate to Caretaker AruaHigh court.

 

Published: January 15, 2019

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The Chief Justice, Hon. Justice Bart M. Katureebe has called for increased access to justice for vulnerable communities – specifically refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). In a paper titled “Forced Displacement: Legal protection and development” presented at a World Bank forum in Washington, DC, Justice Katureebe said that issues of refugees should be viewed as a global challenge that merit holistic resource allocation to tackle among other needs aspects of access to justice.

The Chief Justice was speaking during a closed-door meeting at the World Bank headquarters on the sidelines of the Law, Justice and Development Week in Washington DC on November 6 2018. Other notable participants in this meeting included Uganda’s ambassador to the United States, Amb. Mull Katende; the Hon. Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya, Justice David Maraga and Hon. Justice Samir Adam Annour, the First President of the Chad Supreme Court.

On November 8 2018, Justice Katureebe met with Ms. Ann Kabagambe, the Executive Director World Bank African Group. During this meeting, the Chief Justice and Ms. Kabagambe discussed matters affecting the administration of justice in Uganda and the Judiciary’s E-Justice strategy. 

 

By Edgar Kuhimbisa | Published: November 9, 2018

 

 

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KAMPALA - Ms. Rachel Odoi-Musoke, the JLOS Senior Technical Advisor was this afternoon recognized by Pepperdine University (CA, U.S) with an award for her role in spearheading innovations and reforms in Uganda's Justice Sector. This was during the Women in Leadership Conference held at Serena Kampala Hotel hosted by the Courts of Judicature.

 

About the Awards

The Sudreau awards are named after Laure Sudreau, a 1997 graduate of Pepperdine University School of Law, who donated $8 million to fund its global justice program. The gift is the largest single endowment in the law school's history.

 

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The JLOS Development Partner Group and members of the JLOS sector carried out a monitoring visit to Nakawa Chief Magistrate’s Court to discuss issues critical to case backlog management as part of the broader implementation of the Fourth Sector Development Plan (SDPIV). The visit focused on engaging judicial officers and other stakeholders on case backlog management. The first part comprised of a dialogue with judicial officers to discuss issues pertaining to case management and adjudication. The main objective of the monitoring visit which is part of the sector reporting on implementation of the strategic plan was meant to contribute to implementation of the sector case backlog strategy, improve case disposal outcomes, share challenges, best practices and opportunities for improvement. 

In the afternoon the team engaged in a multi stakeholder Focused Group Discussion on the same subject. Invited participants included representatives from the front line JLOS institutions Planning unit of Uganda Police Force, Corrections directorate of the UPS, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Inspectorate of Courts, representatives from the Judiciary and Uganda Prisons, Justice Centres, Paralegal Advisory Services, legal aid service providers network, Director Government Analytical Laboratory, Remand Home personnel, Uganda Law Society and other stakeholders.

It is hoped that the outcome of this and other monitoring visits will strengthen JLOS-Development Partner engagement, create an environment for sharing of information, address challenges, opportunities and provide an avenue for peer review, better coordination, collaboration and communication that will strengthen case management and general access to justice services. The ultimate goal is to facilitate effective  implementation of the sector case backlog strategy and over sector Development Plan.

The Deputy Senior Technical Advisor of the JLOS Secretariat welcomed members to the visit and emphasized that the monitoring process is part of the reporting process to sector development partners and stakeholders; providing an enabling environment for sharing issues, best practices and crafting interventions to improve the administration to justice thereby creating safe and secure environment within which all Ugandans can thrive. 

The Chief Magistrate of Nakawa Court  welcomed the team and made a presentation on issues pertaining to the court. He informed the meeting that Nakawa has three Grade One gazette stations of Nakawa, Luzira and Ntinda which is yet to be operationalized.  Nakawa presently has 4 Grade 1 Magistrates and Luzira has one.

 

Reporting by: Lucy Ladira | Published: March 27 2018

 

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