Judiciary’s new deployments aimed at improving access to justice

The Judiciary has in the recent past received a significant addition to its human resource following the appointment of new judicial officers at different levels of the judicial structure.


One of the newly appointed judicial officers during the swearing ceremony at High Court(courtesy photo)

The new appointees have all been deployed at various courts across the country. The deployments have had a direct impact on the existing judicial officers as a number of them have been transferred across the country.

According to the press statement from the Public Relations Office of Judiciary,this has had a major impact on case disposal as there has been tremendous improvement in the performance of the courts in terms of determination of cases, specifically at the Magistracy level.

“Highlighting the impact of the most recent appointments and re-deployments, the Hon. the Chief Justice, Alfonse Chigamoy Owiny – Dollo, observed that the recent appointments have enhanced access to justice by the people.” reads part of the statement

That ever since the Judiciary unveiled its Transformation Agenda and developed the Judiciary Strategic Plan V to facilitate the realization of the said agenda, the new deployments will go a long way in attaining the Institution’s core mission of efficiently and effectively administering justice.

The new officers all appointed in Acting capacity include 14 Deputy Registrars, 8
Assistant Registrars and 20 Chief Magistrates. These appointments bring the number of Deputy Registrars to 43, Assistant Registrars to 19 and Chief Magistrates to 91.

Reflecting on the acute staffing gaps that existed in the Judiciary at the beginning of his term of office, and the significant increase in numbers at the lower bench so far the Hon. Chief Justice stated; “in 2020 when I assumed the office of Chief Justice, we only had 42 Chief Magistrates. Of the 42, 27 of them were caretaking between 2 to 5 Magisterial areas. For example, the Chief Magistrate of Fort Portal then was caretaking Kasese, Bundibugyo, Ntoroko, Kyenjojo and Kamwenge.

The one of Soroti was caretaking Kumi, Kaberamaido and Katakwi.
Those Chief Magistrates spent more time on the road moving from station to station and could not work effectively.

Today, all these Courts have resident Chief Magistrates. Indeed, with the recent appointments we have now deployed Chief Magistrates in Kalangala, Budaka, Bugiri, Butambala, Sembabule, Mitooma, Yumbe and Bundibugyo. As I have always said we shall continue with our transformation journey until justice is accessed at walking distance like drinking water and backlog redefined from 2 years

The Chief Registrar, HW Sarah Langa Siu observed that in addition to expanding the coverage of the Judiciary and taking judicial services closer to the people, the deployments and transfers were also informed by caseload and enhanced efforts to eliminate case backlog.

To this end Courts with high caseload like Nakawa, Mbarara and Mengo Chief Magistrates Court with a caseload of 3,766; 3,323 and 2,297 cases respectively received additional Chief Magistrates. She further added that the High Court Division Registries like Commercial, Land and Family with high caseload of 1,689; 2,874 and 2,354 cases were beefed up with additional Deputy and Assistant Registrars to expedite the hearing of interlocutory matters.

“I am equally happy to report that all the 20 High Court Circuits now have Deputy Registrars or Assistant Registrars. This will now allow the Chief Magistrates who have been caretaking these Circuits to focus on their dockets;’’ noted the HW

With this human resource boost we expect to see a substantial rise in case disposal.

At the end of last Financial Year (FY2021/22) the Judiciary disposed off 252,021 cases. As at April 19, there were 165,124 pending cases in all courts and of these, 46,151 were backlog. This accounts for 28% of the caseload in the courts.

Among the other priorities of the Judiciary is strengthening the Inspectorate of Courts. Two additional Deputy Registrars have been deployed in the Registry bringing the number to five. The Chief Inspector of Courts is Hon. Justice Stephen Musota.

In the Registry are the Registrar, HW Kwizera Amos and five Deputies – HW Gabriel Angualia, HW Helen Ajio, HW Dorothy Ssempala Lwanga, HW Samuel Twakyire and HW Agnes Alum.

The Chief Registrar observed that in terms of implementing the expanded structure of the Judiciary, there is good progress. “Forty three of the 80 Deputy Registrar positions have been filled representing 53.7%.
For Assistant Registrar positions, 19 out of the 40 positions have been filled, representing 47.5% of the approved
structure. Currently, we have 91 Chief Magistrates out of the approved 160 which represents 57% of the filled positions,” she said.

HW Langa extended her appreciation to the Judicial Service Commission for the timely appointments.

The deployments take immediate effect while the transfers are effective 1st July,2023.

The Acting Deputy Registrars affected Her Worship Alum Agnes from Civil Division to Inspectorate , His worship Matenga Francis Dawa from Fort Portal to Fort Portal, HW Amoko Patricia has retained her position as Private Legal Secretary to the Chief Registrar, Private Legal Secretary to the Chief Registrar , HW Mukanza Robert has been transferred from Nebbi to Mbale.

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