Chief Magistrate Courts Have Highest Case Backlog – Report

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In short
Chief Magistrates Courts have a total of 11,474 pending cases, Grade One Magistrates Courts have a case backlog of 3,394 and Grade Two Magistrates Courts have 150 pending cases. In total, the lower courts have 15,018 pending cases.

Chief Magistrates Courts still have the highest case backlog compared to other court levels in the Country, the National Court Case Census report by the judiciary indicates.

The report released in Kampala, Monday, shows that Chief Magistrates Courts have a total of 11,474 pending cases, Grade One Magistrates Courts have a case backlog of 3,394 and Grade Two Magistrates Courts have 150 pending cases. In total, the lower courts have 15,018 pending cases.

The High Court then follows in the order of having a big case log standing at 10,632 and the Court of Appeal at 3,201 cases. The Supreme Court has only 13 pending cases forming the backlog of the highest court in the land.

Of all the cases, at least 471 have remained unresolved for a period spanning over 10 years. 254 are before the High Court and 217, in the lower courts. All the others have been in the court system for more than two years.

The National Court Case Census was carried out between December 10 and 11 last year by the Judiciary's task force led by Justice Henry Peter Adonyo.

The main objectives of the case census were to ascertain the reasons for the pending cases before the courts of law that have never been informed by empirical evidence or documented with interventions for effective case management.

It also sought to find out the pending cases according to how long they spent in the system, case category among other objectives.

Justice Henry Peter Adony, who headed a 12-member committee in carrying out the census says each file has different reasons for the delay but added that some were mismanaged while others had long injunctions imposed against them.

In Kampala High Court Divisions, the Land Division has the highest pending cases standing at 3,846 cases being unresolved while the International Crimes Division , has the least pending unresolved cases standing at 15 cases.

The report shows that Central region has the highest number of pending cases standing at 56,058, representing 48.8 percent; Western region has 21,860 pending cases representing 19 percent and Eastern region comes in at third position with 19,340 pending cases representing 16.8 percent.

Northern region has the least pending cases standing at 17,551 (15 percent).