Chief Justice Reiterates Call for Judicial Independence

2425 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Justice Bart Katureebe observed that independence of the judiciary promotes economic development and ensures justice and equity through a predictability of court decisions that cannot be overruled by a political establishment.

The Chief Justice Bart Magunda Katureebe has called for increased funding and speedy consideration of the judiciary administration bill in order to facilitate the independence of the judiciary.

The Bill, which is currently before cabinet seeks to strengthen the independence of the Judiciary, improve the administration of justice and streamline the administration of Courts.

Quoting article 126 (8) of the constitution which provides that the judiciary shall be self-accounting and must deal directly with the ministry responsible for finance, Justice Katureebe pointed out that at the heart of independence, is the need to secure adequate resources for the courts.

 He added that judges must be paid highly in order to deter acts of corruption and influence to make irregular court decisions. Justice Katureebe was speaking at the official opening of the 20th Annual Judges Conference at Speke Resort Munyonyo. The conference is running under the theme, "An inclusive judiciary for sustainable development."

"Judicial salaries must be set at a comparatively high public service level in order to remove both the temptation to corruption and public contemplation of the possibility of such temptation." Financial security, he adds, is a means to end judicial dependence.
 
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Katureebe observed that independence of the judiciary promotes economic development and ensures justice and equity through a predictability of court decisions that cannot be overruled by a political establishment. 

Katureebe says there is a need for all to respect decisions of the court and where one disagrees with the decisions of the court, they can appeal, revisions and review, but it is unacceptable to have other functionaries of Government promoting to rule over decisions made by the court.
The chief guest, President Yoweri Museveni observed that judiciary independence is very fundamental in every democracy because it ensures justice and equity by separating powers and enabling the rule of law to prevail. He added that the courts must remain relevant to the people.
 
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The objective of the five-day annual Judges Conference seeks to take stock of what the Judiciary achieved in the year 2017 and devise means of placing the Judiciary at the epicentre of Sustainable Development.

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.