The Prime Minster Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has urged Courts to endeavour to clear all business before them promptly and professionally as well as fully embrace Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and the campaign against case backlog in order to avoid any delays in the administration of justice.
The Prime Minister made these remarks while opening the East African Magistrates and Judges conference at Speke Resort Munyonyo on Tuesday.
The conference was organised under the theme “Transformation of Judiciaries in East Africa for Improved Service Delivery: Successes, Challenges and strategies”
The Premier said the Judiciary will be an integral factor in steering Uganda from a peasant society to a progressive and middle-income status by 2020, adding that government is looking at the judiciary to maintain stability and peace necessary for economic growth.
Dr Rugunda also said the Judiciary was crucial in the transformation of society because an excellent Judiciary is fundamental to democracy.
He said Judiciaries in the region have in a record time dealt with election petitions arising out of Presidential and Parliamentary election petitions adding that they have demonstrated that there is a civilised way of handling disputes instead of taking up unconstitutional means to change government
“The Judiciary has been at the centre of correcting century long injustices against humanity such as slavery, gender inequalities and racial discrimination. The Judiciary has also been at the center to the development debate by ensuring that trade prospers in a climate of justice and full enjoyment of fundamental rights,” the Prime Minister said.
Rugunda however challenged the Judiciary to pay attention to increasing public confidence, trust and satisfaction in the administration of justice if the Judiciary is to be transformed.
He said this can be achieved through focusing on the cultivation of judicial independence, enhancing efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of service, increasing customer care, addressing corruption boldly through comprehensive intervention in the court systems as well as opening up courts to the poor and vulnerable who feel excluded from the judicial process among others.
The Chief Justice of Uganda, His Lordship Bart Katureebe said the Judiciary was in constant search for ways to enable effective administration of Justice.
PM Rugunda poses for a group photo with some of the Judges and magistrates attending the East African Magistrates and Judges Conference at Speke Resort Munyonyo (Photo by PMPU)
He told the judicial officers to do a self-examination and always write judgements basing on the law. He also called for quick operationalization of the LC court system.
The President of the East African Magistrates and Judges Association, Justice Luka Kimaru said he was optimistic that South Sudan and Burundi will be admitted into the East African Magistrates and Judges Association, as soon as they attain peace and stability.
This was the 13th annual East African Magistrates and Judges Conference, and it is held on a rotational basis. This conference drew participants from Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, South Africa and the United Kingdom. The last conference was held in Tanzania.
By Doreen Nasasira
Tuesday, 1st November 2016