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PRESS RELEASE

29 November 2019

 

KAMPALA - The Judiciary today held a historic ground-breaking ceremony for the long-awaited construction of the Supreme Court and Court of the Appeal buildings.

Construction of the seven-storey twin appellate courts buildings with two basement floor parking for 226 vehicles, will be executed by Seyani Brothers within 24 months at a cost of 63.9 billion to be paid for by the Government of Uganda. They will be customized courthouses with modern courtrooms, chambers for the justices, a gym and restaurant, among other amenities.

While presiding over the ground-breaking ceremony at the Judiciary headquarters in Kampala, the Chief Justice, Bart M. Katureebe, described the occasion as memorable. He said the project was part of a larger project which aims at ensuring that the Judiciary is transformed.

“The project of building the Appellate courts started in 1999 and has moved through many stages including the use of Public-Private Partnership. I am therefore glad to inform you that the activities that we have witnessed today constitute part of the measures that the Judiciary is undertaking to meet the service level expectations from our Customers by providing physical access to justice,” he said.

“This project entails the construction of the Court of Appeal building which will have 20 chambers for Justices, five Board rooms, four Court halls, three Registries and three chambers for the Registrars,” said the Chief Justice, adding:

“It will also have the Supreme Court building which will house: 12 Chambers for Justices, three Court halls, three Chambers for Registrars and three Registries amongst others.”

Judiciary’s Permanent Secretary, Pius Bigirimana, likened the ceremony to a miracle adding that it is the time to rebuild the image of the Judiciary and gain its rightful position as a critical Arm of Government.

With the buildings in place, Mr. Bigirimana said the Judiciary will save at least Shs6 billion it pays annually in rent for the appellate courts.

This was echoed by Chief Justice who added that open days are being held all over the country, the courts now have an operational call center and salaries for Judicial Officers have been enhanced. He said focus is now going to be put on performance using the Performance Enhancement Tool.

The Chief Justice said the ground-breaking ceremony is a clear indication of accountability through transparency in procurement and project management.

This, he said, is in line with the Millennium Development Goals, the Country’s Vision 2040 and the Strategic Investment plan of the Judiciary and JLOS, all geared towards the Social and Economic Transformation of the country.

The ceremony was witnessed by the Deputy Chief Justice, Alfonse Owiny-Dollo; Principal Judge, Dr Yorokamu Bamwine; Justices of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal. Others were the Chief Registrar, Esta Nambayo; Commissioner Engineering & Technical Services, Dr Christopher Ebal, and other members of Judiciary Senior Management.

 

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KAMPALA - The Chief Justice of the Republic of Uganda and Chairperson of the JLOS Leadership Committee delivered a keynote address to participants at the 24th Government of Uganda and Development Partners Sector Review on 12th November 2019. The JLOS Annual Review was held at the Mestil Hotel in Kampala.

 

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Published: November 13, 2019

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Sunday, 11 August 2019 15:04

11 Judicial Officers Transferred

 

KAMPALA - The Chief Registrar of the Judiciary, HW Esta Nambayo, transferred 11 judicial officers in a bid to improve service delivery in the courts. According to the transfer instrument released on 9 August 2019, the latest transfers, affecting Deputy Registrars, an Assistant Registrar and Magistrates' Grade One, take immediate effect. HW Nambayo explained that the list includes the deployment of two Judicial Officers who have been on leave.

She added that the transfers and deployments are aimed at promoting better relations between the Judiciary and stakeholders especially with the JLOS community and district authorities. The Deputy Registrars deployed are Dr.Gladys Nakibuule to Lira High Court and Amos Kwizera to Mbarara High Court. The Chief Magistrates of Lira and Mbarara have been performing additional duties as caretaker registrars.

 

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Published: August 11 2 019

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Wednesday, 07 August 2019 11:34

Chief Justice Names Taskforce on Corruption

 

KAMPALA - The Chief Justice, Bart M. Katureebe, has set up a six-member Taskforce, headed by the Inspector of Courts, Ms. Immaculate Busingye, to investigate allegations of corruption in the Judiciary. According to the Office Instruction No. 4 of 2019 dated July 30, 2019, the Taskforce was tasked to commence business with immediate effect – and would report back to the Chief Justice within 60 days. “Interface with the investigations team of Vision Group to understand the scope and purpose of their ongoing project on exposing corruption in the Judiciary,” reads one of the four terms of reference to the Committee. The Corruption Taskforce will then receive the media recordings with a view of identifying the implicated Judiciary staff, who would then be invited to have an interface with the Team. The Taskforce on Corruption would thereafter make a report to the Chief Justice with recommendations on the way forward by the 30th September 2019.

 

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Published: August 7 2019

 

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KAMPALA: The Chief Justice, Hon.Justice Bart M. Katureebe, on Wednesday June 27, 2019 officially opened the 5th National Plea Bargaining Conference with a call to advocates to embrace Plea Bargaining and other Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms.

"I urge you to earnestly embrace these initiatives in addition to maintaining the highest levels of professionalism and integrity," said the Chief Justice.

He encouraged them to join the Judiciary in eradicating case backlog through diligent preparation and presentation of cases in court. "You should take center stage in saving judicial time and resources," he said.

The Conference was held under the theme, "Plea Bargaining as a Case Backlog Intervention".

Hon. Justice Katureebe commended initiatives such as Plea Bargaining and other forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution to overcome the huge case backlog and inordinate delays in the disposal of cases.

The Commissioner General of Prisons, Dr Johnson Byabashaija, said Plea Bargaining is the way to go to decongest prisons and reduce case backlog. The program has been central in changing the shift of the number of convicts being more than those on remand ar

 

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Published: June 27, 2019

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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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