The judiciary leadership yesterday afternoon met with the Parliamentary budget committee and shared knowledge and views on how to improve operations of the judiciary.
In the meeting, Chief Justice Bart Katureebe reported to the committee chaired by MP Amos Lugolobi, the numerous challenges affecting the judiciary.
Among the issues pointed out by Justice Katureebe was limited funding to the sector and chronic understaffing
“The number of judges needs to be increased from the current 50 to at least 80 as earlier proposed to parliament,” he said.
Justice Katureebe informed the MPs that if the issue of case backlog is to be handled completely, the ratio of judges must be proportional to the population.
He noted that Uganda has over 40 million people with just 50 judges, in contrast to Malaysia which has 150 judges for a population of 30 million.
“Judiciary is an arm of government which must deal directly with the Ministry of Finance but it’s unfortunate that some people in the government treat it as a government sector”
On the issue of corruption in the judiciary, the chief justice asked the MPs to suggest solutions for this problem instead of endless criticism.
The Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwiine said that due to the financing from various organizations towards settling gender based violence cases, soon the case backlog in matters of this nature will be no more.
On his part, the judiciary committee chairperson Hon Lugolobi assured the judges that parliament will work hard to ensure that all money collected by Judiciary through its services and fines is not taken away but remains as the starting point for the funds they receive from government.
“On amendment of the laws regarding the fines paid on conviction we are eagerly waiting for the proposed new fine ranges to have this amendment tabled before Parliament,” Lugolobi said.
He also promised that his committee will be meeting with Ministry of Finance officials to ensure that some of the financial challenges facing the judiciary are handled.