MASAKA – The Court of Appeal/Constitutional Court earlier on Monday opened a session targeting to clear at least 124 cases within a month.
The cases to be handled consist of 39 Constitutional Petitions and 22 applications, 43 Civil Appeals, and 18 Applications. Among the 43 Civil Appeals to be handled are two Election Petitions filed in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
Eight Justices led by the Deputy Chief Justice, Richard Buteera, will be taking part in the two sessions.
“The Deputy Chief Justice, Justices; Geoffrey Kiryabwire, Elizabeth Musoke, Hellen Obura and Monica Mugenyi will preside over the Constitutional Petitions while Justices; Barishaki Cheborion, Stephen Musota and Christopher Madrama will handle the Civil Appeals,” said the Court’s Ag. Assistant Registrar, Mary Babirye.
She added that the court will rely on written submissions and that oral presentations in court will be to make clarifications, Court may need. In the Civil Appeals session, two Election Petition Appeals filed last year and this year are equally going to be handled.
Among the Civil Appeals to be handled is that of former Busia chairperson, Ouma Odea, seeking court intervention to reinstate him as chairperson LCV.
Ms Babirye emphasized that COVID-19 SOPs will be followed during the sessions in line with earlier guidelines issued by the Chief Justice.
Ms Susan Kanyange, the Registrar at the Court, said according to the work plan of the Court, three Constitutional Petitions sessions will be held this year (this being the second), with the last one planned to be held later this year.
She said the Justices would hold at least 18 sessions (Constitutional Petitions-3, Civil Appeals – 6, Criminal Appeals (6), Appellate Mediation (1), Criminal Applications (1) and Civil Applications (1) this year, with a view of reducing the backlog. As of April 13, there were 7,479 pending cases at the Court.
During the opening of the ongoing Criminal Appeals session in Masaka, the Deputy Chief Justice said the Court of Appeal/Constitutional Court has 14 Justices who are few compared to the workload.
He said there are ongoing engagements with the Executive and Parliament to ensure that there are regional courts of Appeal which will ease the management of the matters before the Court.