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Principal Judge Asks Magistrates to stop Trading Bail :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Principal Judge Asks Magistrates to stop Trading Bail

The Principal Judge 's remarks of trading bail and favourable decisions come at the time when one of the Chief Magistrates of Mitooma Sylvia Nvanungi is facing charges of corruption stemming from her alleged involvement in obtaining 2.5 million shillings to grant bail to an accused person who was on remand.
15 Dec 2023 20:56
The Principal Judge Dr Flavian Zeija

Audio 1



The Principal Judge Dr Flavian Zeija has asked the Magistrates to stop obtaining bribes from litigants in exchange for bail or favourable court orders .

Dr. Zeija says if the Magistrates and other judicial officers desist from such corrupt behaviors including laziness and delayed delivery of judgements, they will have greatly contributed to the Judiciary's transformation agenda.

Zeija made the remarks on Friday evening in a speech read on his behalf by the head of the Civil Division of the High Court Musa Ssekaana while at the closing ceremony of the two-day Annual Magistrates and Registrars Conference in Kampala.

The conference was held under the theme "Making Access to Justice a Meaningful Contribution to Uganda's Transformation Journey"

Dr. Zeija said most of the complaints he has received regarding some of the  Magistrates across the country relate to trading of bail and and bribes in exchange for favorable court decisions. He condemned those acts strongly.

Zeija urged the Magistrates to observe of good customer care, embrace hard work, and timely delivery of quality and well-reasoned judgments and rulings within 60 days of concluding the hearing.

//Cue in: "I thank those..

Cue out: ...in shunning laziness".//

He urged them encourage Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms such as mediation, as they continue the fight against case backlog and high caseload by ensuring timely completion of cases and availing of certified copies of the record proceedings, judgments/rulings.

The Principal Judge's remarks come at the time when the Chief Magistrates of Mitooma Sylvia Nvanungi is facing charges of corruption stemming from her alleged involvement in obtaining 2.5 million shillings to grant bail to an accused person who was on remand.

At the same event, the Chairperson of Judiciary Governing Council /Supreme Court Justice Mike Chibita asked the Magistrates to use their time preciously and to be courteous to litigants. 

Chibita said that the judicial power is derived from the people whom they serve and therefore, they ought to exercise humility while in their places of deployment.

He encouraged them to always read through their case files in advance to avoid being educated and embarrassed by lawyers while in court for failure to be informed.

The conference resolved that the Judiciary Administration should provide a mentorship program to spur quality judgments, avail funds for the Annual Registrars Conference to enable Registrars to handle issues that are unique to their work and come up with strategies to continuously engage with the Judicial Service Commission on the promotion of officers that have been on same ranks for long.

It was also resolved that the judiciary Administration links the Electronic Court Case Management Information System- ECCMIS  with other government stakeholders’ e-interfaces to improve access to justice.

The conference approved to plan and budget for the provision of robs/gowns to the entire lower bench for uniformity in dress code to address issues of indecency just like the High Court, Court of Appeal Constitutional Court, and the  Supreme Court.

The Judicial Training Institute was requested to continuously train Judicial Officers in the accounting and execution process as well as continuous training in Information Computer Technology and Handling of cases under the Computer  Misuse Act. 

It was agreed that the institute trains Judicial Officers on the Constitution (Bail Guidelines for the Courts of Judicature) (Practice Directions), 2022. 


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