Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni has appointed 16 new High court judges in acting capacity to help clear the backlog in the justice system.
They are Mary Ikat, who has been a registrar at the High court, Douglas Singiza Karekona, a chief magistrate at Buganda Road court, Susan Kanyange, the Court of Appeal registrar, and Samuel Emokor and Flavia Matovu Nassuna.
Those picked form private practice are Patricia Kahingi Asiimwe, Bernard Namanya, Thomas Ocaya Ojele Rubanga, Grace Harriet Magala, Collins Acellam, and Allan Paul Nshimye Mbabazi. Others include Patricia Mutesi, Christine Kaahwa, George Okello, Celia Nagawa, and Faridah Shamilah Bukirwa have been picked from government departments and agencies including Attorney General’s Chambers.
A statement from the Judicial Service Commission indicates that the appointments are a result of the ongoing recruitment of judicial officers at various levels. According to the statement, the appointments will enhance the capacity of the High court to expeditiously dispose of cases and tackle the case backlog in the justice system.
This is the largest ever appointment of judges of the High court by the Ugandan President. The appointments bring 72, the number of High court judges in the country. According to the revised Judiciary structure, at least 151 High court judges are needed to tackle the increasing case backlog in the country, which is home to more than 40 million Ugandans.
The Judicial Service Commission rules indicate that the commission may advise the appointing authority on the nature of appointments to be made such as substantive, acting, contract, temporary, or probation in respect of judges, registrars, and other judicial officers.
According to the rules, a probationary appointment shall be for a period of two years and any extension of a probationary appointment shall not exceed one year.
Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo has repeatedly expressed his desire for the Judiciary where every Ugandan is able to get meaningful justice by building courts in each constituency or sub-county with judicial officers to adjudicate their cases.
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