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Judiciary to Computerize Filing System this Year

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.
Justice Bart Katureebe at the Uganda Human Rights Commission tent during the Court Open Day
The court filing system will be this computerized this financial year in order to address the problem of missing case files, Chief Justice Bart Katureebe has said.

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.

This was during the Court Open Day at the Boma Grounds in Fort Portal district. The day which was organized by Fort Portal High Court is meant to sensitize the public about access to justice and the operations of courts of law.

Suzan Katusabe, a resident of Rwengoma B Village in Fort Portal told Katureebe that her case has remained pending for seven months and the case file could not be traced. Katusabe explained that whenever she goes to court, she is told that the case files is still being traced.

Justice Katureebe said that many cases have stalled due to missing case files which has resulted into delayed justice and led to congestion in prisons.

"The Ministry of Finance has given us six billion Shillings to computerize the courts.  Disappearing of cases files in courts will be history in the next two to three years. We are going to embark on computerizing the courts," Katureebe said.

According to Katureebe, the project will be piloted in 12 courts and later spread to all courts in the country. He added that some judicial officers deliberately hide case files and solicit money from complainants to trace for the file. Justice Katureebe also reiterated his call to the government to increase funding to the judiciary.

He explained that inadequate funding affects the operations of the courts leading to delayed justice. Justice Katureebe cited cases of judicial officers handling land cases who face challenges visiting the land under dispute due to lack of transport.

During the ceremony, several members of the public raised concerns on delayed administration of justice, illegal evictions on land, conduct of court bailiffs and extortion of money by court staff.

Justice Katureebe also warned judicial officers against absenteeism and late coming, which he said was the major cause of case backlog.

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