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Supreme Court Operating in Shifts :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Supreme Court Operating in Shifts

The report shows between May 12th and July 12th, 2022 the Supreme Court conducted a pretrial hearing of 89 criminal appeals, and also in the same month it heard one civil matter.
Supreme Court Sign post in Kampala.

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The Supreme Court is operating in shifts five months after the building was gutted by fire.

Jamson Karemani, the Judiciary Public Relations Officer says that the Justices are not all working at the same time because of a shortage of adequate space.

There have been reports circulating on social media that the Supreme Court Justices have not been working since April to date but continue to draw salaries to the detriment of a taxpayer, but Karemani refuted the allegations.  

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English Audio.

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Karemani provided a summarized report indicating how business at the Supreme Court has been ongoing.   The report shows between May 12th and July 12th, 2022 the Supreme Court conducted a pretrial hearing of 89 criminal appeals, and also in the same month it heard one civil matter.

The same report further indicates that between April and September, the Supreme Court delivered 12 decisions from various civil cases. 

On May 31st, 2022, Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo ordered the immediate closure of the Supreme Court building in Kololo until further notice.

Owiny-Dollo said the court registry and the ECCMIS (Electronic Court Case Management Information System) center will remain open to handle the usual business of the court as the Justices work from home with only one Justice reporting on duty to handle urgent matters.  

He indicated that following the fire that gutted part of his chambers, there have been water leakages leading to flooding in the Chambers of the Justices which has reportedly damaged furniture, books, and other court properties.

"These incidents have made it unsafe to continue in occupation of the said premises without a proper assessment of the damage and effecting appropriate rectification. The landlord has been duly notified to assess and rectify the defects", wrote the Chief Justice.

He added that "for these reasons the top management of the judiciary has decided and I hereby direct that the Supreme Court be closed as the premises undergo renovations and rectification of the defects".

In April, fire broke out in the Chief Justice's chambers on the third floor.  According to sources, the fire broke out when a woman opened the door next to the Chief Justice's chambers and switched on the light, which triggered a blast. 

The Chief Justice explained that he was to inform the Justices of the date when full-court operations shall resume upon issuance of a certificate by the responsible authorities that the premises are safe for occupation. 

The Chief Justice says that there are plans to launch a 63 billion shillings building located near the City Square in Kampala. The tower is expected to be complete by December 2022 and will host the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal. 

According to Dollo, the judiciary will save 9.7 billion shillings it has been spending annually on renting the premises for both the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal buildings. 

 The Supreme Court is headed by the Chief Justice and supported by 10 Justices with a quorum of seven Justices to hear Constitutional Appeal and five to hear Criminal and civil appeal cases.However, in the absence of the Chief Justice, the most senior member of the Court presides over the sitting of the Supreme Court.   The Judiciary administration reports show that the Supreme Court sits eight sessions a year with a break of two weeks between sessions to do research and write judgments. 

From November to December 2022, the Supreme Court which is the least busy court is expected to have another session where it will handle 45 criminal appeals and 20 civil matters.

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