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JSC Members Split Over Retirement Age for Judges

Speaking to journalists shortly after being approved by Parliaments Appointments Committee today, one of the members, former Sheema Woman MP Rosemary Nyakikongoro, says the debate should focus on Uganda losing key judicial officers when they are still needed in the system.
Rosemary Nyakikongoro, JSC member shortly after being vetted at Parliament

Audio 5

Newly vetted members of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) are split over a proposal to raise the retirement age for judges.

 

Among the proposals in the Constitution Amendment Bill 2016 being introduced as a private members' bill, is amendment to Article 144 (2) to raise the retirement for the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and Justices of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal from 70 years to 75 years.

 

It also proposes to raise the retirement age of judges from 65 years to 70 years.

 

Speaking to journalists shortly after being approved by Parliament's Appointments Committee today, one of the members, former Sheema Woman MP Rosemary Nyakikongoro, says the debate should focus on Uganda losing key judicial officers when they are still needed in the system.

 

Citing former JSC chairman, Justice James Ogoola as an example, Nyakikongoro says the country must not lose such expertise to other countries like Seychelles, which have taken on former Ugandan officers into their system.

 

English

//Cue In: “When Ogoola was retiring...

Cue Out:...support it.”//

 

Luganda

//Cue In: “Omanyi...

Cue Out:...experience.”//

 

Christine Amongin Aporu, another member of the commission says while she supports the bill, there should be wider consultations with the public to hear their views on the matter.

 

//Cue In: “It would be okay...

Cue Out:...further.”//

 

However, Ruth Ssebatindira, another member and former Uganda Law Society (ULS) president, disagrees, noting that raising the age would not give chance to the younger population to rise up the judiciary ranks.

 

English

//Cue “In: No I am not...

Cue Out:...for the judiciary.”//

 

Luganda

//Cue In: “Ekyo sikiwagira...

Cue Out:...nga gugya.”//

 

Increasing the retirement age for judicial officers was one of the proposals rejected by Parliament last year during the constitutional amendment process.

  

Shortly after vetting, the commissioners said some of their priorities will be to push for recruitment of more judges and better emoluments for judicial officers.

 

The Appointments Committee also approved the appointment of JSC chairman, Justice Benjamin Kabiito, Norah Matovu Winyi and Dr. Laban Nnini Kirya.

 

Justice Faith Mwondha, deputy JSC chairperson was not vetted as she is out of the country on official duty.

  

Also vetted is Justice Mugabi, a member of the Electoral Commission who was given a second seven-year term.