In his Oct 5, 2021 circular, the Chief Justice directs Registrars and Magistrates to ensure the authenticity of the court judgements, orders and decrees before they process them for execution in accordance with the relevant laws and practices
Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo
The Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo has directed all courts
to receive and process applications for execution that had delayed due to
COVID-19 effective October 11th 2021.
his Oct 5, 2021 circular, the Chief Justice directs Registrars and Magistrates to ensure the authenticity of the court
judgements, orders and decrees before they process them for execution in
accordance with the relevant laws and practices.
On September 22, 2021, President Yoweri Museveni
eased the lockdown, which also saw the suspension of the execution of judgment
orders. While easing the lockdown, Museveni also reopened churches and mosques.
He also increased the number of people at public events from 30 to 200 people.
Owiny-Dollo says that he has also decided to lift
the ban he had previously put on the execution of court orders so as to balance the
interests of justice of all persons who have sought justice in court and to
enable litigants to realize the fruits of their judgement after a long and costly
protracted hearing phase.
"Where there are several modes of execution available in
a particular case, the warrant of arrest of a judgement debtor for committal to
civil prison should only be issued as a last resort," reads the circular
in part. Adding that, “every court bailiff must present a valid license
to court before being issued with a warrant of execution".
According to the Chief Justice in all manners
requiring eviction, demolition and or giving vacant possession, the laws
enshrined in the Constitution and other relevant guidelines must be followed.
"Applications for distress for rent orders must be made strictly in
accordance with the relevant law and before a court that has both the
geographical and pecuniary jurisdiction to determine the matter. All execution
proceedings in court and out of court must be carried out with due observance
of the COVID-19 preventive measures issued from time to by the Chief Justice
and the Ministry of Health", said Owiny-Dollo.
On January 18 2021, the Judiciary
officially phased out the Executions and Bailiffs Division of High Court
almost ten years after inception. The Division was put in place with the
view of promoting efficiency and effectiveness in handling matters related
to the execution of judgements.
The Principal Judge Dr Flavian Zeija said the
decision to phase out the decision stemmed from numerous complaints from lawyers
about the slow process and corruption especially on the part of the bailiffs
who would enter agreements with debtors and bring agreements to the registrars
The Principal Judge revealed that the Judges
or courts that issue judgements and orders will be the ones to do execution
just like it was ten years ago. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chief justice
suspended the executions.