Chief Justice Asks New Magistrates to Respect Litigants

On his part, the Deputy Chief Justice Richard Buteera who has equally witnessed the administration of oaths, has warned the Magistrates against poor writing of judgments and late delivery of their decisions which he says is one of the noticeable vices in the Judiciary.
One of the Newly Appointed Magistrates Aisha Natembo Taking Oath Before the Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo on Thursday.

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The newly appointed Magistrates have been cautioned to desist from being arrogant to litigants if the effective dispensation of justice is to be made.

The caution was made on Thursday evening by Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo while presiding over the swearing-in ceremony of the second batch of the 43 Grade  One Magistrates who were appointed by the Judicial Service Commission last month.

Owiny-Dollo noted that there is a tendency of judicial officers to be arrogant to the litigants which taints the image of the Judiciary and also affects the delivery of justice.

According to the Chief Justice,  when judicial officers become arrogant to the litigants, they fail to get the truth from witnesses and complainants which he says at the end affects the quality of the work.

Owiny-Dollo also reminded the Magistrates to be humble and dispense justice without fear or favour.

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Deputy Chief Justice Richard Buteera warned the Magistrates against late delivery of their judgements, which is common in the Judiciary.

Buteera indicated that some of the  Magistrates have been Lecturers before their appointments,  but surprisingly, there is still a challenge of writing proper judgements which affect the image of the Judiciary. 

According to Buteera, the judicial officers shouldn't just presume their decisions but rather do adequate legal research and seek assistance.

Among the Magistrates who have been sworn in is a visually impaired Grade One Magistrate Willy Atono. He previously worked at the Law Development Centre  Legal Aid Clinic as a Volunteer doing Reconciliation and  Alternative Dispute Resolution,   Legal Officer National Union of Disabled Persons in Uganda -NUDIPU, Private Practice Hallmark Advocates and Tonto and Company Advocates.

Atono says that he knows the expectations awaiting him but he is confident he will deliver quality and timely justice.

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Last month, in a bid to reduce the case backlog in the Judiciary which currently stands at more than 150,000 cases and also to bring justice closer to people, the Judicial Service Commission appointed  48 Magistrates in the first batch and a few days later appointed another batch of 43 Grade One Magistrates who have taken an oath today.

The Chief Justice has since indicated that the Judiciary will next year recruit 100 other Grade One Magistrates because he dreams of a Judiciary where each Sub count will have a Magistrates Court.