KAMPALA – The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Ephraim Kamuntu has said that the growth in the ICT budget for the ministry from UGX. 2bn in 2015/16 to UGX. 6bn enabled the automation of the Judiciary business processes.
While presenting the sector’s performance of the NRM manifesto, Kamuntu said the increased ICT budget has helped reduce corruption, transaction cost among others.
“Therefore, the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) has upgraded the Court Case Administrative System (CCAS) to an Electronic Court Case Management Information System (ECCMIS),” he said.
He added that the ECCMIS has helped improve efficiency in the judiciary, improved transparency and helped fight corruption.
“Government through the ECCMIS will increase access to justice for citizens through online services for case filling and payments, automated reminders and free access to summons, judgements and reduced case backing,” he said.
According to Kamuntu, JLOS designed and launched the Judiciary Performance Enhancement tool, made to adapt a 360° evaluation approach which he said has increased performance of judicial officers through monitoring and evaluation thus informing the Judicial Reward Policy.
“JLOS has also implemented one-stop JLOS service centers which contain a Magistrate court, Resident State Attorney offices, and Prisons. Overall the number of districts with these centers has increased from 59.3% to 72% since 2016,” said the minister.
Kamuntu further noted that video conferencing facility has been established by the Ministry.
“A facility that is applied in real-time between Buganda Road Chief Magistrates Court and Luzira Maximum Prison is in place,” said Kamuntu.
The minister revealed that they have increased access to justice.
“Every sub country has an LC III court. And 332 Grade 1 Magistrate Courts that are spread across all the districts,”
He added that, “The Ministry of Justice & Constitutional Affairs successfully made every district a magistrate area with a Chief Magistrate.”
Kamuntu noted that the ministry established and constructed regional offices in Arua, Fortpotal, Gulu, Mbale, Moroto and Mbarara which has has helped extend services to the citizenry.
In addition, Kamuntu said Law Development Center(LDC) also extended its services closer to the people by establishing a new facility in Mbarara with a starting 560 law students.
The minister said they have increased the High Court circuits from the current 13 to 20.
“The numbers of High Court Circuits gazetted increased from following the demarcation of Nakawa High Court Circuit, Mbarara, Jinja, Mbale and Gulu which were too wide and diverse,” he said.
Kamuntu further assured the public that JLOS through the government of Uganda will continuously make a strong judiciary.
“Our commitment is to strengthen the independence of the judiciary,” he said.