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Parliament Approves Additional UGX 31.4BN For Judiciary

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The judiciary is to receive Shillings 151.5 billion in the 2019/2020 financial year compared to the Shillings 127.8 allocated this financial year.
Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah.
Parliament has approved an additional Shillings 31.4 billion for the Judiciary to among others carter for recruitment of judicial officers and procurement of vehicles. 

This followed the adoption of a report on the judiciary Policy statement by the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee during plenary chaired by the Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah.  

The report was tabled by the Committee Chairperson and West Budama South MP, Jacob Oboth. 

The judiciary is to receive Shillings 151.5 billion in the 2019/2020 financial year compared to the Shillings 127.8 allocated this financial year.  

The additional Shillings 20 billion was provided under the development budget to cater for the construction of Supreme Court and Court of Appeal premises. 

An additional Shillings 1.9 billion was also provided to cater for wage shortfalls experienced in the 2018/ 2019 financial year.

According to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, the additional funding doesn’t cater for different strategic areas in the judiciary. 

‘’The Judiciary is faced with man power challenges with staffing levels at 55%. This has put a lot of workload and caseload on the existing man power. Judiciary has planned a recruitment of 100 judicial officers. They include 20 Chief magistrates, 49 Magistrate Grade one and 31 for appellant court- High Court in order to reduce case backlogs. However, these funds are not provided in the budget estimates. In this regard Shillings 9 billion is required to recruit 100 judicial officers over the medium term,’’ reads part of the approved Committee report. 

Oboth recommended that the Judiciary wage Bill be adjusted by providing an additional Shillings 4.42 billion in the 2019/2020 financial year to enable recruitment of 50 judicial officers in an effort to reduce case backlog.  

He however, noted that 50 percent of the additional staff should be High court judges. 

Also approved is an additional Shillings 10 billion out of the required Shillings 20 billion to help the Judiciary to clear part of an estimated at 40,251 case backlog.

‘’This is high and hence the need for resources to clear cases that are 3 years and older from the system through the support to sessions and capacity building,’’ reads the committee report. 

The Judiciary is to also get an additional Shillings 2 billion to formalize Local Council courts as one of the measures to address the case backlog.

This follows the election of new local council officials and on-going re-establishment of local council courts. 

  Parliament also approved an additional Shillings 10 billion out of the required Shillings 62.1 billion for the Judiciary to procure vehicles to improve access to justice especially for land cases. 

Oboth informed parliament that the Judiciary is challenged in the area of land adjudication characterised by delays, failure to visit the locus, case mismanagement and integrity concerns.

He said the institution is expected to fast track land cases where government has an interest, which raises capacity issues. 

The Judiciary is also to receive another Shillings 5 billion to support innovation in case management.

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