KAMPALA – The Principal Judge, Dr Yorokamu Bamwine, has urged court users to really embrace mediation to resolve conflicts.
Presiding over court users meeting at the Civil Division in Kampala on Tuesday, Dr Bamwine said mediation would reduce case backlog in the courts and quickly easy to justice.
The Principal Judge also urged the Judicial officers need to embrace the habit of starting a case and finishing it instead of accumulating several partially heard matters.
According to the Division’s Deputy Registrar, HW Sarah Langa, such meetings promote accountability and improve the performance by courts and all actors within the justice chain.
The Principal Judge commended the Court for continually holding such meetings where causes of case backlog, prevention, and the best practices of its elimination are discussed as a family. .
He called upon the Uganda Law Society to assist the Judiciary in calling for such interactions.
The Head of the Division, Justice Dr. Bashaija, said the Division’s workload as at June 24 stood at 4,235 cases while the backlog was 1,389 cases.
In his brief to the Principal Judge, Dr Bashaija pointed out that Mediation at the Court has not been embraced by parties. “…Since October 2017 to date, 592 Mediation cases have failed while 80 were settled” adding that many people have not understood its benefits and therefore the need to continually sensitise the public on Mediation.
In terms of innovations to improve access to justice, the Head of Division said they have embraced e-submission, set up a breastfeeding room and created a WhatsApp forum for advocates to improve communication.
In spite of the innovations, it was pointed out that the Civil Division still had some challenges such as poor time management, the huge workload for Judges, late filing, filing suits without Mediation summaries among others.
The advocates thanked the Principal Judge and the Civil Division for such opportunities to interact with them and hear out their grievances.
They appealed that such practices should continue.
The courtroom was filled to capacity with Judges; Dr. Andrew Bashaija, Lydia Mugambe and Musa Ssekana in attendance.