John Baptist Male, the LCI Chairperson of Namaliga East zone in Bombo Town Council says that it’s difficult to preside over a case without single coin yet the session takes time. He adds that they are also demoralized because higher courts always nullify their judgements.
The judiciary has unveiled a new campaign to sensitize the local council courts in a move aimed at reducing case backlog in higher courts. The local council courts are established under the Local Council Courts regulations (2007) to handle minor cases and make orders for compensation, declaration, restitution, costs, apology, attachment and sale among others.
However, many Local council courts are dormant and as a result, the magistrate courts are overwhelmed with cases that fall under the jurisdiction of local councils leading to case backlog. Village chairpersons blame the inactivity on lack of facilitation, ignorance of laws and demoralization by higher courts.
Hamis Jjemba the Chairperson of Namaliga South zone in Bombo Town says that a number of chairpersons were never oriented on how to preside over the courts.
John Baptist Male the LCI Chairperson of Namaliga East zone in Bombo Town Council says that it’s difficult to preside over a case without single coin yet the session takes time. He adds that they are also demoralized because higher courts always nullify their judgements.
Similarly, Joseph Kabale, the Chairperson of Wabinyonyi zone in Luweero town faults Police for usurping the powers of local councils, subsequently taking over every dispute within the community.
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Luweero Chief Magistrate Samuel Munobe says that local courts are easy to access and are expected to address day to day judicial demands by local people.
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Luweero District Chairperson of Ronald Ndawula says that there was also a need to translate the law books in local languages to enable chairpersons to comprehend them and be able to make judgements or orders.
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To solve the impasse, Chief Justice Bart Katureebe has launched a new program to train local council leaders on the administration of Justice. The campaign was unveiled at Luweero town council playground on Thursday.
Katureebe said that the judiciary is engaging the Ministry of Local Government to set minimum charges for filling a case in the courts and how to facilitate them. He also asked communities to embrace local councils as the first point of contact in the search for justice.
Katureebe explained that currently the land division is stuck with 10,000 cases, handled by five judges, yet some of the issues can be ably resolved through local councils.