Judiciary To Open Up With 10%. More Activities Online. – Chief Justice, Owinyi-Dollo
Written by Derrick Asaba on June 23, 2021
As a means of combating continuous spread of the coronavirus, the Judiciary through the chief justice of Uganda, Alfonse Owiny-Dollo came up with measures to align with those at national level in a bid to protect their staff and other court users from the virus.
This comes after the revised directives by the president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, on reducing the spread of the virus and following the effect the pandemic has had on the institution.
In the early days of this month, the Kabale Grade One Magistrate, Grace Ssemaganda died and was reportedly to have had COVID-19 complications. According to the institution’s Public Relations Officer, Jamson Karemani, other staff have also fallen prey to this pandemic and many more are still grappling with the disease.
Addressing the press on the revised guidelines on operation of courts, Karemani urged judicial officers to utilise this time to deliver judgements and rulings virtually. It should also be noted that the court operations have been scaled down to 10% physical presence.
“The judicial officers are urged to use this time to write judgements and rulings and deliver them virtually through emails and video links where available. All hearings and major activities of court remain suspended till after 42 days,” Karemani said.
With this halt in most of the court operations, courts will continue to handle only urgent matters like plea-taking, bail applications and other urgent applications. However, executions are suspended including where orders were already issued.
Karemani further revealed and urged courts outside the Metropolitan areas of Kampala, Mukono and Wakiso districts to coordinate with the District taskforce on how to operate while observing the 10% presence of staff.
Plus, all court users who had cases that had hearing dates including the accused on bail are advised to stay home until that time when the judiciary shall advise them on when to resume physical appearances.
Besides the spread of the coronavirus being at its peak with skyrocketing numbers of infections across the country, a ban on public transport has too, been a strong force in the decisions taken.