SIRONKO – As part of its on-going efforts to address the case backlog, the Judiciary has launched the ‘Small Claims Procedure’ at Sironko Magistrate’s Court.
Justice David K. Wangutusi, who heads the Commercial Division of the Court, presided over the event.
The Judiciary says that the system mainly applies in matters arising out of supply of goods, debts and rent not exceeding UGX10 million and one does not require any legal representation.
Under the system, a complainant can get judgment within a day although the maximum period for delivering judgment is a month. This is opposed to the old system that can even last for five years or more.
“The parties to a small claim are mediated by a judicial officer to reach a quick agreement, avoiding technical procedures, excluding lawyers, consequently shortening the usually lengthy and costly court process,” he said amidst a deafening applause from the jubilant residents.
He, however, said that with the procedure, the parties have no room for appealing but in case they find new evidence that can change the outcomes of the case; they can apply for a review.
He also revealed that the ‘Small Claims Procedure’ doesn’t involve the use of lawyers, which cuts the costs of the suit.
Herbert Mulekwa, the Sironko District Chairman urged locals to embrace the ‘Small Claims Procedure’ program, adding that the procedure once instituted will help in quick delivery of justice.
“So many relationships have been soiled due to debts, people have lost property and many are languishing in the prisons just because they failed to honor their debts. This procedure I believe will help in amicable resolution of disputes,” he said.
The Chief Magistrate James Ereemye thanked Mr. Mulekwa and the district leadership for allocating 20 acres land for the construction of prisons and four plots for the construction of a police post.
He, however, requested that DPP offices be constructed closer to Sironko court instead of Bulambuli.
Justice Ereemye lauded JLOS representatives for always involving the judiciary whenever they hold bazaars around the different areas in the district
In attendance was Ag. Registrar Small Claims Procedure, Lillain Bucyana, political and religious leaders, representatives of the Uganda Law Society, the Community Service and other JLOS representatives.
Small Claims Procedure was launched in 2012 in the five Chief Magistrates Courts of Mengo, Masaka, Arua, Lira and Kabale. In 2014, it was extended to the six chief magistrate’s courts of Jinja, Mbarara, Makindye, Mbale, Nakawa and Nabweru.
The program has since been extended to numerous courts including Luwero, Nakasongola, Entebbe and Mpigi becoming the latest.
The other courts include Iganga, Mukono, Kasese, Bushinyi, Fort portal, Soroti, Busia, Masindi, Hoima, Kitgum and Gulu among others.