Chief Justice Roots for Small Claims Procedure

Chief justice Bart Katureebe handing over the tools of office to LDC resident Magistrates today

The chief justice of Uganda Hon Justice Bart Katureebe has called upon people with small financial claims below 10 million shillings to embrace settling these matters in court without involving lawyers.

Speaking at the launch of this this system at the Law Development Centre (LDC) Court, Katureebe called upon people with financial claims below 10 million shillings not to run away from court but to embrace Small Claims Procedure (SCP) where both parties meet and discuss on how the debt will be settled with guidance of a judicial officer.

“Small claims procedure helps people like street vendors to access justice in case they are cheated without involving lawyers who make the whole process expensive,” he said.

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Katureebe recounted in the late 1970s, he had a small shop in Makerere Kivulu which collapsed due to bad debtors but regretted that if this process had been introduced he could have embraced it to demand for his money.

He added that as judiciary they are administering justice on behalf of the people, and that people should work with them and wherever they need to know about anything they should freely seek clarification.

The Registrar Small Claims Procedure Lilian Buchana said this process will greatly help people in the jurisdiction of the LDC court being that it contains many businesses in which small claims are inevitable

His worship George Watyekere asked the chief Justice to think about upgrading the LDC to High court circuit so as to accommodate the increasing number of Law students during their internship trainings.

Small claims procedure was launched in Uganda in 2012 and currently has been rolled out in a number of courts of judicature and still being extended to other parts of the country

These matters are filed in SCP courts by a natural person (not organizations) and these are presided over by either a judge or magistrate without involving lawyers

It’s up to the applicant to either file the matter in General courts of law or under SCP court since the matter has to be settled in less than 30days

Under SCP you cannot file any claim exceeding 10 million shillings, family despite resulting from estate management, claims against Government, contracts of service, claims on validity of the will, suits for defamation, wrongful arrests , Petitions for divorce and separation of spouses.

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