Luwero to get its own High Court by July – Principal Judge

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The Principal Judge Dr. Flavian Zeija (head of the High Court in Uganda), has Friday 29th January appointed a six-member committee to operationalize the Luwero High Court circuit by July.

This is according to a news release by the Uganda Judiciary. This court is to be run using resources previously dedicated to the now defunct High Court Execution and Bailiffs Division (EDB) which was closed following numerous complaints about its operations by court users, the Judiciary says.

The committee headed by former head of the EDB Lady Justice Henrietta Wolayo comprises of Mr. Pius Bigirimana (Permanent Secretary of the Judiciary), Ms. Sarah Langu Siu (Chief Registrar) and Eng. Dr. Christopher Ebal (Judiciary’s Commissioner for Engineering and Technical Services). The committee’s secretary is Mr. Samuel Emokor, the Registrar of the High Court while its resource person is Mr. Andrew Khaukha-the Judiciary’s Technical Advisor.

The appointment follows an earlier communication by the Judiciary on January 25 2021 wherein the committee’s tasks were clearly stipulated. They include identifying a team of judicial and non-judicial staff of the Court as well as suitable office premises for the court. The committee, according to the communication, is also mandated to identify court files for the Luwero High Court Circuit which are currently in the different specialised High Court divisions in Kampala.

The committee’s chairperson Justice Henrietta Waloyo must report back to the Principal Judge Dr. Flavian Zeija by June 30th.

The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda in Article138(2) allows the Chief Justice in consultation with the Principal Judge to create High Court circuits to ensure that the court – which is the third highest court in the land, is accessible to all people.

As such, the third arm of government, in 2016 designated 20 circuits under the Judicature (Designation of High Court Circuits) Statutory Instrument No. 55. However, only 14 of these are operational so far. These are Arua, Fort Portal, Gulu, Jinja, Kabale, Lira, Masaka, Masindi and Mbarara, Mbale, Mpigi, Mubende and Soroti.

The Judiciary attributes the lacklustre operationalization of the remaining circuits to a lack of enough Judges, limited funding, and lack of court houses.

Should the operationalization of the Luwero High Court crystalize, there will now be 15 operational High court circuits in Uganda and five non operational court circuits which are Hoima, Iganga, Moroto, Rukingiri and Tororo.


 

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