The Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo has unveiled the Judiciary client
charter and two workplace policies.
The HIV/AIDS workplace and
Anti -Sexual Harassment policies are aimed at providing a safe and convenient
working environment for the court users and judicial officers.
They also put in place tough consequences for any judicial official found
engaging in acts of sexual harassment.
Speaking at the launch of the policies on Wednesday, the Chief Justice
Owiny-Dollo said the policies shall enable the Judiciary in taking major steps
towards building public trust in the institution as well as ensuring that there
is maximum respect and prioritizing access to Justice at all points of service.
On the client charter, Owiny-Dollo said it’s a commitment for the
Judiciary to uphold professionalism, transparency, accountability, equality and
independence while dealing with the court users.
The Charter signed by retired Chief Justice Bart Katureebe enhances
the Judiciary's commitments as an institution to carry out its mandate without
discrimination. It also presents service standards expected of judicial
officers and obligations of the court users, their commitments, accountability,
complaints and appeal channels and feedback procedures if anyone is aggrieved
with their working mechanisms.
Owiny-Dollo emphasized that the Judiciary is committed to upholding
the constitutional principles such as Justice which shall not be delayed and
awarding adequate compensation to victims of wrongs, promoting reconciliation
between parties and administering substantial Justice.
//Cue in: “I encourage you…
Cue out: …of any kind…”. //
The Judiciary’s Permanent Secretary Pius Bigirimana said that with
the policies and charter in place, the public should hold the Judiciary
accountable. He added that this was
the right time to launch the policy given the huge numbers of sexual harassment
cases reported by judicial staff.
//Cue in: “But also you…
Cue out: …the client’s obligations”. //
The launch of the policies comes at the
time when several judicial officers have been accused of sexual harassment.
In 2015, the Mbarara Grade One Magistrate, Opio Belmos Ogwang was
interdicted on sexual harassment allegations. The then Chief Registrar Paul
Gadenya Wolimbwa interdicted Opio following a complaint of sexual harassment
lodged against him by a former female clerk at Kyenjonjo Chief Magistrates
In 2018, during a performance management workshop for judicial
officers for Kampala and Luweero high court circuits, the officers complained
that they are sexually harassed by their immediate bosses while executing their
The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) also opened up a general
inquiry file into allegations of sexual harassment of female judicial officers
by their bosses.
In 2019, Samantha Mwesigye , a Senior State Attorney accused Christopher
Gashirabake, the Director of Legal Affairs in the Justice and Constitutional
Affairs Ministry of subjecting her to sexual harassment for over 10
The Charter also provides for improvement on the efficiency and
effectiveness of the courts and streamlining the administration of the courts
to enable a judicial process that is committed to expeditious resolution of