Abodo asked members that fall under the Justice Law and Order Sector to cooperate with the Judiciary so as to effectively administer Justice to all people in the country. She also urged the local councils to resolve some of the cases to avoid case backlog in courts.
“During the year 2017/2018 a number of newly recorded cases were 111,065 resulting in a total number of cases of 573,577 of which 46,016 were concluded leaving outstanding backlog of 527,561,” reads part of the audit report.
The Chief Judge of the Industrial Court, Justice Asaph Ruhindi Ntengye disclosed this while inaugurating the Industrial Court Users Committee Meeting in Kampala to discuss challenges facing the court. Despite the fact that he didn’t disclose the exact number of cases in their system, Justice Ruhundi noted that they have already fixed cases for hearing until October, 2020.
Okwanga notes that although criminal cases are being handled in special court sessions, civil cases especially relating to land disputes are accumulating, adding that many complainants struggle to file cases in high courts in Kampala.
Anthony Jabwor, the Kotido Resident State Attorney says that many people in Kotido don’t register complaints with the police or through the formal justice system but opt for the traditional justice system.
Mugabo, who doubles as the Registrar of the Commercial Division of High Court, says the court hasnt been able to deliver judgments in most of the cases because of numerous reasons, key among them under staffing.
According to the statics, the Supreme Court disposed of 112 cases including 51 cases that were brought forward from the previous years and 153 cases registered the same year. Supreme Court Judge, Stella Arach Amoko presented the report.
The PAC Vice Chairperson, Gerald Karuhanga tasked the team to explain the slow clearance of cases despite increased funding from Shillings 6.1 billion in the 2015/2016 financial year to Shillings 6.9 billion in the 2016/2017 financial year.
Documents tabled by DPP Mike Chibita before the committee chaired by West Budama South MP Jacob Oboth-Oboth, indicate that the Directorate of Public Prosecutions has no office in 23 districts with its presence currently registered in 98 districts. However, with the latest number of districts in the country standing at 121, this puts the DPPs absence in 40 districts.
Plea Bargaining is the process where an accused person agrees with a prosecutor to plead guilty to an offence in exchange for a lesser sentence. The procedure also enables an accused person to negotiate for a lesser offence or to be turned into a prosecution witness against other accused persons.
Henry Peter Adonyo, the Executive Director of Judicial training Institute, said the Judiciary is aware of the concern of the citizens about the inefficiency in the sector, which is borne out of the enduring levels of the case backlog compounded by uncertainties.
Justice Alphonse Owiny-Dollo has this afternoon been approved by parliaments appointments committee as new Deputy Chief Justice, URN has learnt. The committee chaired by Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah also approved Justices Paul Mugamba and Richard Buteera who were appointed by President Yoweri Museveni to the Supreme Court bench. Owiny-Dollo replaces Justice Steven Kavuma while Buteera and Mugamba replace Justices Jotham Tumwesigye and Augustine Nshimye, respectively, who have clocked the retirement age.
The Chief Justice made the declaration on Monday while responding to complaints about the disappearance of case files at Fort Portal High Court in Kabarole district. Katureebe says that the judiciary has already received 6 billion Shillings to finance the project.
Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwine says that the programme, since its launch two years ago, has proved to be cost effective and helped to de-congest prisons. Patrick Masiga Makokha, the Regional Prisons Commander for South Eastern Region, says that the programme is needed to de-congest the prison. He notes that Jinja Main Prison was constructed in 1930 with a capacity of 336 inmates. However, the facility now has over 1,000 inmates.
The system allows an accused person to plead guilty to an offense in exchange for a lesser sentence. The procedure also enables an accused person to negotiate for a lesser offense or to be turned into a prosecution witness against other accused persons.
Civil society organisations have condemned the move by the state in arresting former presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye to face treason charges yet they had not completed carrying out investigations into the same case.
In their two-hour meeting with the case backlog committee headed by Court of Appeal Judge Richard Buteera at the High Court in Kampala, Grace Akullo faulted magistrates who are never at their duty stations on Fridays and Mondays since those are travel days out of the station and back from their respective homes.