Judiciary Registers Improvement in Disposal of Cases
There is improved disposal of cases in the Supreme, Constitutional/Court of Appeal and the High Courts compared to the past three years, according to the judiciary.
This is contained in reports showing the annual Performance of Supreme Court, Constitutional/Court of Appeal and the High Court released during the 21st Annual Judge's Conference in Kampala on Wednesday.
According to the statics, the Supreme Court disposed of 112 cases including 51 cases that were brought forward from the previous years and 153 cases registered the same year. Supreme Court Judge, Stella Arach Amoko presented the report.
While statistics from the Court of Appeal presented by the Deputy Chief Justice, Alfonse Owiny Dollo show that the court handled civil, criminal and election related matters last year.
He explained that three civil sessions were held in June, October and November and a mini-session in December where 490 civil matters were disposed of.
He said sessions are one of the ways court has been able to reduce on the case backlog.
Justice Owiny Dollo also noted that there has been a steady increase in civil cases at the Court of Appeal for the period under review. He said they registered 723 cases in 2018, the highest number over the three year period.
Justice Owiny Dollo however, noted that there is steady increase in the number of pending civil cases which, now stand at 3,198. Owiny's performance report indicated that two Constitutional sessions were held in April and September where 72 cases were disposed of.
He noted that there was a slight increase in the number of pending cases due to the increasing workload in the Court of Appeal.
On election related matters, Justice Owiny Dollo said there was a significant decline in the number of election petitions in 2018; saying only 8 cases were registered.
He explained that the impact of the election year 2016 led to high disposal of election matters in 2017. He said 38 election matters were disposed of in 2018.
He also said they registered more than 400 criminal matters, majority of which were disposed of. The high completion rate of criminal matter is attributed to plea bargaining in High Court while civil matters reduced due to mediation and various sessions held in the year.
Just like in the past, Deputy Chief Justice, Alfonse Owiny Dollo complained about the limited resource and poor staffing in the judiciary.
However, there are no plans in the meantime by government to address the challenges. While opening the Judge's conference, President Yoweri Museveni said there is no money to increase the number of the judges and salaries of judicial officers. He said government is prioritizing infrastructure development.