The Hon. Deputy Chief Justice, Richard Buteera, has called on Government to strengthen the criminal justice system by recruiting more Judicial Officers to handle case backlog.
He made these remarks while interfacing with appellants in a Criminal Appeals session at Lira over the weekend.
Flanked by the Lira Resident Judge, Justice Mackay Alex Ajiji and the Appeal Justices, Hellen Obura and Remmy Kasule, the DCJ reassured the appellants that justice would be served for all.
“We are making an appeal to the Government to consider the fact that getting more judges is an investment that should be made for justice to be delivered to the populace,” he said.
He explained that the Court was in Lira to listen to the appellants, look at the court record and see how the trial courts arrived at their decisions. “The decision of the Court of Appeal shall reflect the fairness of the case not favouring the prosecution nor the Appellant but all the parties in accordance with the evidence and the law,” he said.
The DCJ presided over all the days hearing and will host a staff meeting of Lira Court Officers before he returns to headquarters to attend to the usual duties. Justices; Musoke, Obura and Kasule will continue with daily back to back hearings before traveling back to start the judgment writing phase.
During the question and and answer session at the Prison, one of the appellants asked Court to assign him a new lawyer since the one he had was acting contrary to his instructions.
Murder tops the causelist of appeals with 20 cases followed by defilement with 14 cases. The other case categorizations are robbery, with four appeals and rape with two.
The Court’s Deputy Registrar, Ayebare Tumwebaze, said they have already finalized the work plan for next year where several sessions both in-house and out of station will be held. “The Court has exhibited great work that the rate of filing of new appeals is overwhelming.”