The Judiciary has revealed that one of the issues to be handled on their first ever National Court Open Day is to interact with the public regarding strategies the justice system needs to implore so as to eliminate case backlog.

According to the Judiciary Public Relations Officer James Jumire Ereemye Mawanda, it is also intended to promote sensitization highlighting the services the Judiciary offers, emphasizing mechanisms being re-engineered to improve service delivery and receiving feedback from the public to get areas of improvement from the public.

He said on the National Court Open Day slated for April 15th, 2024 at Kololo Independence Grounds, all stake holders in the Justice system including the public, police, prisons, Prosecutors  and lawyers will meet and interact with the public such that they can  understand their role in the  chain of the court system and processes.

Mawanda stated that the Judiciary is making accountability and it will sensitize Court users so as to be able to obtain feedback from them adding that the National Court Open Day is aimed at further strengthening the independence of the Judiciary enshrined in the Constitution. 

While addressing the media on Thursday at the Judiciary Headquarters in Kampala, Mawanda indicated that in order for this to be done effectively, the Judiciary has been conducting Court open days in various places across the country. 

However, given the feedback obtained from the ground to places they have been, Mawanda said the Judiciary found it fit that the same should be extended to a bigger group of the public  by having a national Court open day such that different courts can show case what they do to the people.

As such, he said the  Court of Appeal, Supreme Court, High Court and all its Divisions in Kampala, the Inspectorate of Courts which handles matters of compliance, quality assurance, the Judicial Training Institute and Magistrates Courts in Kampala will show case the different services they offer in their jurisdictions. 

According to Mawanda, the Judiciary has been faced with negative information  which he said  affects their image such as statements that a poor person cannot win a case and they now  want to boost their image by engaging the public so as to enable them execute their plan as they meet the public expectations as well.

“The Public will freely interact with the Judiciary as a way of demystifying and getting feedback. It will help the Judiciary understand the kind of justice the public wants and it will also help them participate in decision making processes,” said Mawanda. The National Court open day is  brought under the theme , a  people Centered Approach to Justice. 

The Secretary of the Organizing Committee for the National Court Open Day High Court Registrar Mary Keitesi said that the Courts which will be participating will not have business that day , however all the registries will be open for court users who want to file new cases and to get new dates for their cases.

She  highlighted the program of the day adding that the public will be also given an opportunity to ask questions to various people and stake holders in the Justice sector who will be available to provide answers for the whole day long event. 

Keitesi the research Planning and Development Registrar said people will depart at leisure because many people will be remain behind to continue interacting with the exhibitors even when the official function ends. Several materials such as leaflets, literature, magazines  talking about administration process will be distributed to those who attend so as to be informed and not to be duped about the way the Judiciary operates.

The National Court Open Day event will  be presided over by the Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo and other Top leadership of the Judiciary.

The Organizers have also told Our Reporter that the general output from the event is that public trust and confidence in the Judiciary is enhanced .

The Organizers have also indicated that some times people paint a bad image of the Judiciary and now , the Judiciary will get an opportunity to strengthen the partnership between state and non state actors as  they  create more public awareness regarding their services.

According to the Annual Performance Report of the Judiciary for 2023, the judiciary had a case  backlog of 43,617 cases that have been in the system for many years. A case is considered backlog in Uganda when it has spent more than two years in the court system without being concluded.


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