KAMPALA – The Chief Justice, Justice Bart Katureebe, on Wednesday enrolled and commissioned 72 Assistant Superintendents of Prisons as Justices of Peace.
A Justice of the Peace is a judicial officer of a lower court, elected or appointed by means of a commission (letters patent) to keep the peace.
Speaking at the commissioning in Kampala, the Commissioner of Prisons Custodial Services, Safety and Security, Mr Magomu Wilson, said the justices of peace had been drawn from prisons all over Uganda, adding that they would help in administering justice across the country.
The Registrar High Court, Mr Tom Chemutai, said after taking oath, the new justices of peace can now exercise some powers of a Magistrate to Administer Oath, to Commission Affidavits, to release prisoners on bond, to arrest and remand prisoners and to certify documents.
He asked them to uphold the oath and serve the people faithfully.
In his remarks, the Chief Justice noted with gratitude that Prisons are no longer torture chambers. He commended the prison administration for ensuring that prisoners are now well treated. He further commended their efforts in getting rid of the bucket system.
He urged the Justices of Peace never to give punishment beyond what Court has imposed.
A Justice of Peace has limited power whose duties may include hearing cases that involve civil controversies, conserving the peace, performing judicial acts, hearing minor criminal complaints, and committing offenders. Justices of the peace are regarded as civil public officers, distinct from peace or police officers.