Katureebe worried as rule of law declines

A new report authored by Centre for Public Interest of Law has been launched highlighting decline in the rule of law.

The report entitled ‘In Dire Straits? The State of The Judiciary 2016’ which was released in Kampala on Thursday indicated the recent incident of the pro-Kayihura demonstrators at the Makindye Chief Magistrates’ Court as the recent depiction of decline in rule of law.

Speaking at the launch, Chief Justice, Bart Katureebe agreed with the report and urged for collective effort for a better judiciary.

The report has outlined defiance of court orders by the executive, repeated criticism of judicial officers by President Museveni and the raid by armed men (black mamba) on the High Court (November 2005) as typical indicators of decline in rule of law.

The report also stated that: It is to be remembered that one of the cardinal requirements of the rule of law is that government should comply with judgments/orders of court which are passed against it.

Unfortunately, the impunity with which this particular requirement has been disregarded by the Executive lends credence to the findings that Uganda is indeed a fragile state.

The repeated threats posed to judicial officers also has them working in fear.

The Chief Justice also hinted on the issue of the insufficiency in the number of judges to efficiently carry out their duties due to the overwhelming work load making them be judged as lazy due to court backlog.

He pondered as to why the Judiciary has to relentlessly beg the Executive and Parliament to appoint more judges.

The report also stated that owing to the decline of the rule of law, the legal altar upon which judicial officers abdicate their responsibility, have shied away from making pronouncements that would negatively affect the Executive.

The president of Uganda Law Society, Mr Francis Gimara complained about the little funds in the judicial system in comparison to the other arms of government.

This report basically concentrated on flaws in the judicial appointment processes, financial and infrastructural constraints, corruption, case backlog, lack of judicial accountability, inequality and discrimination in the administration of justice and under performance.

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