The Chief Registrar, HW Sarah Langa Siu held an all Registrars meeting geared at sharing information, reorganizing coordination activities and improve performance through sharing updates from different circuits.
She used the platform to inform members of the approved standardization of courthouse that was passed by the Top Management of the Judiciary to help create uniform court structures. “The Top Management approved the standardizing of court structures which will inform the technical drawings with a particular standard of buildings that are worthy of dispensation of Justice,” she said.
HW Langa thanked Registrars for improved working relations with Judges evident in the decline of complaints registered. She also noted the need to collaborate on supervision and mentorship for the new magistrates recruited. “With the many magistrates, we all have a role in supervising these young people that have joined us. My call is that, as you sit in your circuits take interest in them, guide them on what to do, be their mentors and impact them so that they may become the officers that we all want,” she said.
The Chief Registrar called upon members to be supportive of the newly elevated Judges so that they can meet their current KPIs of disposing 400 cases per year. She said this will enable them to compile a report that will gear confirmation of their appointments.
She reminded Registrars to submit their appraisals alongside those of their support staff calling for honesty and objectivity to help address the challenges faced immediately.
The Chief Registrar also called for collective involvement in the new Judiciary initiatives, innovations and activities. “Being part of the process might help you in the future. Let us take some little time to show input.”
The Chief Registrar shared that following a benchmarking trip to Kenya and Tanzania, there are hopes for proper transformation in the current Judiciary Training Institute with better facilities and thorough research conducted. “We are looking forward to having a school where you go and study with a whole range of facilities. Let us transform our Judiciary to what we want it to be. We decided that the Minimum induction of magistrates will be two weeks, residential such that the appointed can come out as better Judicial Officers,” she said.
Registrars produce four judges
The outgoing Inspector of Courts HW Flavia Matovu Nassuna (Judge Designate) thanked the Registrars for upholding high standards of discipline that eased her workload. “I am delighted and humbled upon this achievement. It’s been a journey of 20 years, and it’s by God’s grace and mercy. With hard work and patience you can make it. All is well and at the right time things can happen. None of you has appeared before the disciplinary committee and I thank you for making my work easy,” she said.
The outgoing Registrar High Court and Judge Designate, HW Samuel Emokor, said he was only successful after three attempts. “Eighteen years later I can finally say that I made the right choice. It is because I had a good team that made me shine, thank you for making us who we are. I am looking forward to continue working with all of you. God’s timing is best,” he said.
Their Lordships in waiting, Susan Kanyange and Ikit Mary expressed their excitement for the Judgeship position, accrediting their achievements to hard work, good working environment with colleagues and advocates, and the work executed within the various areas of deployments.
Among the challenges noted were the technical hiccups on the Electronic Court Case Management Information System, the need to customize daily hearings in other circuits that handle different matters, mishandling of records, need to create space for the Supreme Court at High Court and how to balance the number of court rooms, imbalance of support staff especially local interpreters.
As a way forward, it was agreed that there was need to constantly modify ECCMIS, Registrars were called upon to open up where one is failing/ facing difficulties, a need to agree on the time to allocate to Supreme Court sessions, Judiciary’s plan to conduct massive recruitment of support staff to fill in the gaps, a need to fill in the response form on the nature of staff needed in different areas to help inform on recruitment processes.
Tour the Appellate Courts
At the end of the meeting, the Registrars were led on a guided tour of the construction site of the appellate courts building by the Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Judiciary, Dr Pius Bigirimana.
He shared a brief background of the construction of appellate courts saying although the construction started in May2020, so far both towers are at 70 per cent and 60 per cent completion. The PS/SJ expressed his optimism to have both projects completed by the end of the year.
The twin appellate courts building will host customized courthouses for both the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal with modern courtrooms, chambers for the Justices and Registrars, boardrooms, a gym and a restaurant, two basement floor parking for 226 vehicles among other amenities. The construction project executed by Seyani Brothers and is fully funded by the Government of Uganda.
The PS/SJ said the project was billed at Shs63.9 billion and has incurred an additional Shs7 billion for the two extension floors added.
The meeting was moderated by the Judiciary Public Relations Officer, HW Jamson Karemani.