Over 58,000 Cases Pending in High Court

1710 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
In the eight divisions of the court, a total of 9,814 cases were completed while 31,400 are still pending. Meanwhile the High Court circuits only completed 9,753 cases and recorded 27,000 pending cases.

The High Court in Uganda failed to complete 58,000 cases due to shortage of judges and inadequacy of funds last year.

A report on the performance of the High Court divisions and circuits during the year 2016 indicates that 46,731 cases were brought forward from 2015 while 31,584 new cases were registered in 2016. However only 19,567 were completed through the system.

In the eight divisions of the court, a total of 9,814 cases were completed while 31,400 are still pending. Meanwhile the High Court circuits only completed 9,753 cases and recorded 27,000 pending cases.

The Anti-corruption court had the highest clearance rate among court divisions, with 233 cases completed out of 512 brought forward and registered during the year.  The court now has 279 pending cases.   The International Crimes Division of the High Court completed 13 out of the 36 cases before it during the year, a completion rate of 76 percent.

The commercial court 2,141 out of the 6,816 cases filed before the court, the criminal division completed 672 and still has 3,676 pending cases. Another 1,968 cases were completed by the family division while the land division's court completed 2,500 cases out of 10,500 and the executions and bailiffs division completed 1,347 cases.

Masaka High Court Circuit recorded the highest completion rate with 1,587 cases out of 2,986 while Lira remains the least performing. It completed only 75 out of 1906 cases before it during the year.

Principle Judge of Yorokamu Bamwine observes that the shortage of judges, inadequate funding and case backlog among others have crippled the operation of the court system.

Bamwine says that each circuit is supposed to have two judges while each division should have five judges. However, there are only 49 judges in the country today, far below a requirement of 82 Judges. He says there should be more funding and more judges recruited to help address the backlog in the court system.

Bamwine also advises judges to embrace alternative dispute resolution, use of technology like phones and laptops to complete their work among others.

 

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.