The Hon. Chief Justice Bart Katureebe has said the Judiciary will institute stringent measures to punish lawyers who do not make adequate preparations prior to court appearances.
He attributed this ill-preparedness to the backlog of court cases, resultant from numerous unnecessary adjournments due to failure by lawyers to organize their files.
Hon. Justice Katureebe who was speaking at a dinner organised in his honour by the Namilyango College Old Boys Association (NACOBA) to celebrate his appointment as Chief Justice, said that this kind of behavior has no place in the modern justice system.
“We are going to set standards. We are not going to tolerate those people who come to court when they are not prepared,” he said.
The April 25 evening event at Protea Hotel in Kampala was attended by among others former minister Prof. Ssemakula Kiwanuka and Mr. Livingstone Ssewanyana, director of Federation for Human Rights Initiative, Buganda attorney general, Hon. Apollo Makubuya and association members.
Hon. Lady Justice Salome Bossa also attended in company of her husband, Mr. Joseph Bossa, an old boy of Namilyango.
Hon. Justice Katureebe attended Namilyango College in 1965 for his A’level.
“It is only in the Supreme Court of Uganda where you find such things (ill-equipped lawyers) happening and we want to create a difference,” he added.
He explained that the ill preparation of lawyers causes delays and adjournments of cases.
He said the only way to fight this is to either refuse adjourning the case or limit the case adjournment days as a means of working on the files.
“In case they come again with the same reason, we then dismiss the case,” he said.
Hon. Justice Katureebe said his mission was for the judiciary to have more confidence from the community as this is the only way real development can be witnessed.
“What I want to do is to restore people’s confidence in the judiciary. It is important that we guard the rule of law as this is the key pillar to good governance and investment. I am calling on the public to support me in this by reporting all those queer things that happen in the courts of law as I cannot always be everywhere. We will then investigate and come up with a conclusion,” he said.
NACOBA chairman, Fred Kyaka, awarded Hon. Justice Katureebe for being the first member of the school to be appointed to such a position and said it was a challenge to many to even work harder.
Hon. Justice Katureebe challenged the old boys to always return to their school to inspire the youngsters. He revealed that talks from people such as the former Bank of Uganda governor, Mr. Joseph Mubiru, inspired him to become what he is.