The Chief Justice of Uganda Alfonse Chigamoy Owiny – Dollo has cautioned the newly appointed/promoted judicial officers to always serve with utmost humility and integrity and make upright decisions without fear, favour, malice, compassion, affection, discrimination or ill-will.
Delivering his speech during the swearing-in ceremony of judicial officers held at the High Court, Kampala on Tuesday, Owiny-Dollo tasked the officers to highly respect the core duty of the judiciary since its adjudicatio involves the hearing of cases, the interpretation and enforcement of laws.
“If you are to perform effectively in accordance with the demands of your Judicial office,these principles have been, and still are, the last bastion of Judicial excellence for years,” he said.
The Chief Justice alsobrevealed that despite the well-known cardinals of the law, the judiciary has been grappling with issues of perceived and actual corruption, delayed Justice (Case backlog), absenteeism, laziness and many other vices and cases of indiscipline involving Judicial Officers.
“This is not only a perversion of justice, it is a breach of the Judicial Code of Conduct and an evasion of God’s call. In Deuteronomy 16:18-20, the Lord commands you in the following authoritative terms: …. You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. Justice and only justice, you shall pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”
He added, “It is now your duty to help the Judiciary realize the aspirations enumerated in this grand Plan in order to help the people receive meaningful and timely justice. We need you and more foot soldiers in the field to fight case backlog and render the quality justice that the people of Uganda have thirsted for, for years.”
In the same spirit, Sarah Langa Siu, the Chief Registrar also advised the Judicial officers to be the change they desire to see in the Judiciary and add value to the arm of government.
“The 3 ‘S’ of leadership- service (this is all the people of Uganda want from you), servanthood (public servants not public ‘bosses’) and stewardship (resources-the cases, the people, the finances) And most importantly be an enemy of all the negative vices that have undermined our Judiciary Service- corruption, case backlog, poor time management (both in attendance to duty and service delivery), absenteeism, laziness and poor performance,” she said.
Meanwhile, by 31st May 2022, Uganda’s case backlog stood at 50,908. At the Chief Magistrates level, it is 11,349 which is 22 per cent and at the G1 level 2,602 which is 5 per cent. And according to Langa Siu, by this time around next year, the backlog at these two levels will be zero or significantly reduced.
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