The Chief Justice of Uganda, Alfonse Chigamoy Owiny – Dollo has appealed to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to appoint more Justices to the Supreme Court bench to increase manpower which will help in solving the problem of case backlog.
While speaking at the 5th Benedicto Kiwanuka memorial lecture at the High Court Grounds, Kampala on Wednesday, Justice Dollo said Judiciary is grappling with the problem of case backlog because of limited manpower.
He added that manpower is still a big challenge in the judiciary and that is why this Financial Year they are planning to recruit at least 10 High Court Judges and it is his desire to deploy more Judges in the Commercial Court and at the Land Division, where enormous amounts of money and land resources, respectively, are tied up.
The Chief Justice asserted that the recruitment of more Judges will significantly reduce case backlog and enhance access to justice services. He also noted that the release of money tied up in the Courts, through the disposal of cases in the Commercial Court and Land Division of the High Court alone, would have a monumental impact on our economy.
“Your Excellency, please allow me to seek your indulgence regarding the Supreme Court. I appeal for the appointment of Justices of the Supreme Court to fill the acute staffing gap and allow us to deal with the case backlog that has grown at that Court by 16.4 per cent to 333 cases out of 686 last Financial Year (2021/2022) up from the previous 286 cases out of 614 cases during the previous F/Y 2020/2021. This growth of case backlog is mainly because the Court is not fully constituted,” Justice Dollo said.
“I must thank you Your Excellency once again for the Administration of the Judiciary Act, 2020 through which we have gained a lot. However, administratively we still desire more involvement in the recruitment, promotion and discipline of our Staff. At an opportune time, Your Excellency we shall seek the necessary support to address this impediment.”
In the same way, he applauded President Museveni’s support he has given to the Judiciary, both financially, and security-wise. “I am confident that, with your continued support, we shall be able to honour Chief Justice Ben Kiwanuka better, when a litigant is able to walk to court, testify in a matter and walk back home; when a litigant is able to file a case in January and pocket his judgement before December; when Orders issued by Courts are respected by every person and authority in the Land; and when cases of torture of suspects, incommunicado detentions and ‘paying for justice’ become history.”
Meanwhile, yesterday 21st September marked 50 years since Hon. Chief Justice Benedicto Kagimu Mugumba Kiwanuka the first Black Chief Justice of Uganda was last seen alive. The Chief Justice was martyred for his unflinching advocacy against arbitrary arrests, extra-judicial killings, torture, and the utter disregard for the rule of law, that painfully characterised the infamous President Idi Amin Dada regime.
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