The Uganda Judiciary is poised to hear and dispose of at least 117 Appeal Cases of the Civil nature by way of Special Court of Appeal sessions by the end of March, according to a Press Statement released by the Institution on Monday.
The Court of Appeal kicked off three Special sessions featuring a team of 7 Justices of Appeal:
Kenneth Kakuru, Geofrey Kiryabwire, Christopher Madrama, Fredrick Egonda Ntende, Cheborion Barishaki, Muzamiru Kibedi and Lady Justice Elizabeth Musoke.
Under this Scheme, the Judiciary hopes to tackle case backlog which has incessantly dogged the institution for quite a long time since the making of the 1995 Uganda Constitution.
At the end of 2019, the Court of Appeal had about 7,527 Appeal Cases pending before it.
A panel of three Justices: Kenneth Kakuru, Geofrey Kiryabwire and Christopher Madrama will handle 42 cases and another: Fredrick Egonda Ntende, Cheborion Barishaki and Muzamiru Kibedi will dispose of 35 cases.
While Lady Justice Elizabeth Musoke will conduct a “weeding out session” of 40 Civil Applications.
The nature of the cases ranges from land to commercial disputes, according to a cause list released by Mr Ayebare Tumwebaze, the Court of Appeal’s Acting Registrar.
39 cases are land related, 8 are related to loan arrangements, 7 are related to breach of contract.
The other cases include stay of execution, debt recovery, and administration of estates, among others.
The Special Court sessions are funded jointly by the World Bank and Government of Uganda through the Bank’s Competitiveness Enterprise Development Project.
These Special Court sessions will extend to other parts of the Country and Criminal Cases.
” We shall be holding more of these sessions including holding some of them in regional centres like Mbarara, Jinja, Gulu, Mbale, Arua as one of the measures to improve access to Justice” Mr Ayebare said.
Criminal Appeals Sessions will commence mid march in Mbarara district targeting to clear atleast 40 cases.
Last Week, the High Court commenced 11 special court sessions on land matters across the Country, aiming to clear atleast 220 cases in two months.
On assumption that each land case can be concluded within three days, each High Court Judge was assigned 20 cases to dispose of within two months.
The effectiveness of the Special Court sessions in combating case backlog and improving access is yet to be ascertained since these are pilot projects.