Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo resorted to biblical teachings Tuesday to preach integrity to the newly sworn-in judicial officers comprising Registrars, Assistant Registrars, Chief Magistrates, and Grade One Magistrates.
Quoting the book of Deuteronomy Chapter 16 verses 18 to 20, Owiny-Dollo said that the Lord God commands the judicial officers not to distort justice by accepting bribes.
//Cue in: "In Deuteronomy...
Cue out: ... must guard against".//
He asked the judicial officers to maintain high levels of integrity so as to protect the image of the Judiciary in the eyes of the public, which expects effective dispensation of justice. Owiny-Dollo made the remarks while officiating at the ceremony of swearing-in of 85 newly appointed judicial officers.
The group was appointed on different dates by the Judicial Service Commission, a statutory body charged with the recruitment of all judicial officers and regulating their conduct. Owiny-Dollo called upon the officers to always serve with utmost humility and integrity and make upright decisions without fear, favor, malice, compassion, affection, discrimination, or ill will.
//Cue in: "If you like...
Cue out:... no please,"//
According to Owiny-Dollo, he has looked through the acceptance letters of the judicial official office and is hopeful that the officers are persons of high moral standing and have what it takes to drive the Judiciary along the right path to deliver justice to all citizens.
He advised them to desist from delaying justice, award adequate compensation to victims of wrong, and promote reconciliation without undue regard for technicalities.
/Cue in: "Promote reconciliation...
Cue out: ...take malwa together ".//
The Deputy Chief Justice, Richard Buteera, and Principal Judge Dr. Flavian Zeija who also attended the same function asked the new judicial officers to avoid laziness, saying that whoever thought that he/she had come to the judiciary to relax to withdraw their respective oath immediately.
//Cue in: "If people expect...
Cue out: people you serve.//
On her part, the Judiciary Chief Registrar, Sarah Langa Siu asked the judicial officers to be enemies of all the negative vices that have undermined the Judiciary such as absenteeism, corruption, and poor time management among others. She said such vices have caused a backlog in the Magistrate's Court and she is hopeful that with their appointments, by next year around the same time, they will have reduced the backlog before the lower bench.
Langa, who is the supervisor of all the Magistrates courts indicated that the current backlog stands at 50,908 cases as per her records of May 31st, 2022. She indicated that the Chief Magistrates level has 11,349 cases and the Grade one Magistrates 2,602 Cases. In Uganda, a case is considered backlog once it has spent more than two years in the system.