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71 Commissioned As Court Mediators :: Uganda Radionetwork

71 Commissioned As Court Mediators

The mediators include sitting Judges, retired judges, and senior lawyers who have been deployed in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, and High Court Divisions and Circuits to mediate cases.
29 May 2024 08:56
Former Deputy Inspector General of Government -IGG George Bamugemereire.

Audio 2

The Former Deputy Inspector General of Government -IGG George Bamugemereire,  is among 71 Mediators who have been commissioned and deployed in courts of law to mediate cases in a bid to promote Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms. 

This was revealed on Tuesday by the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Sarah Langa Siu. The others include sitting Judges, retired judges, and senior lawyers who have been deployed in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, and High Court Divisions and Circuits to mediate cases.

According to Langa, the accredited mediators were trained by Pepperdine University through its Strauss Institute.  

The mediators were commissioned at the Supreme Court at a function officiated by Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo Chigamoy and his Deputy Richard Buteera.

Bamugemereire is deployed at the Land Division of the High Court. Francis Atoke the Solicitor General has been deployed to mediate at the Family Court, Retired Principal Judge Dr Yorokamu Bamwine, Former Attorney General Fred Ruhindi, former Uganda Law Society Presidents  Francis Gimara and Ruth Sebatindira and Minister for Justice Norbert Mao have been deployed at the Commercial Court.

Others include Justice Mike Chibita, Lady Justices Percy Night Tuhaise, and Catherine Bamugemereire for the Supreme Court while Principal Judge Dr Flavian Zeija will mediate at all levels of courts.

Owiny-Dollo said the team of mediators will bring freshness and energy to the timely and peaceful resolution of cases through professional mediation of cases. 

He said besides providing a wealth of experience and knowledge gained through their various distinguished careers on the bench and in the legal field, the team of mediators was trained by the Straus Institute of Pepperdine University in the USA, which he described as the best institution for ADR in America and the whole world.

He encouraged the litigants, and members of the legal profession to make use of the mediators to promptly resolve cases in the courts. 

Owiny-Dollo who is also among the Judicial Officers to mediate cases at the Supreme Court noted that the Judiciary will continue to expand its ADR capabilities to all courts so that litigants can access the services at the least cost.

According to the Chief Justice, the African way of resolving disputes at a community level using elders is most effective in resolving difficult cases hence resulting in greater satisfaction for the parties unlike the formal system that tends to focus on winner take it all and is biased towards the state.

He said the African justice system prioritizes reconciliation, rebuilding damaged relationships, instilling conflict avoidance mechanisms, and restitution which he said not only directly addresses the needs of the victim but ensures the survival of the entire community to get on with life.

Owiny-Dollo indicated that he was gratified that Alternative Dispute Resolution is taking the stage center in revamping the administration of justice and providing a safer, cheaper, and friendly system that will complement the formal justice system in addressing case backlog and reducing the justice deficit gap to make the justice system people-centric.

He highlighted 43,061 backlog cases and 159,733 pending cases as per the  Annual Performance Report of the Judiciary 2023 thus emphasizing that when ADR is embraced, they can easily fight backlog.

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The Chief Justice decried the huge chucks of money being spent on the formal justice system yet there are informal justice systems for resolving cases that are not expensive.

He noted that earlier, he met the Prime Minister of Buganda Kingdom Charles Peter Mayiga and they discussed ways how to implement ADR in various places in the country.

The   Chief Justice also asked the former Principal Judge Bamwine to offer leadership to the team of retired justices, judicial officers Retired senior government lawyers, and other non-judicial mediators.

Justice Bamwine said that they were grateful for the opportunity to serve Uganda and appreciated the Chief Justice for his commitment to the transformation agenda of the Judiciary to achieve a people Centered Approach to Justice.

Bamwine said the Judiciary has previously failed to serve the interests of the people mainly because of case backlog.

He explained that the ADR project is a timely intervention in addressing the needs of the people and it will help in transforming the ADR scope in the Judiciary.

He pledged that they would do their level best in dispensing amicable Justice using their long-earned experience to promote ADR to their abilities by making utmost decisions without malice, favor affection, or ill will.

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The government  through Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Norbert Mao has since indicated that they are  in the advanced stages of introducing a policy to regulate alternative dispute resolution