Judges’ Conference Prompts Closure of Uganda’s Supreme and Appellate Courts

Chief Registrar Sarah Langa Siu addressing the media ahead of the conference on February 1, 2024. PHOTO/ COURTESY

Summary:

  • The Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, and High Court will be closed from February 5 for a week due to a judges’ conference in Kampala. Litigants are advised to wait until the conference concludes. The event, themed “A People-Centered Approach to Justice,” will include discussions on case backlog, AI in judgment tools, and health issues within the Judiciary.

The Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, and High Court will be in recess for a week starting February 5 as judges and registrars attend a conference in Kampala. Litigants with cases pending before these courts are advised to wait until the conclusion of the 25th annual judges’ conference to seek services.

The conference, themed “A People-Centered Approach to Justice,” will be held at Serena Hotel. James Mawanda Ereemye, the Judiciary’s Public Relations Officer, announced the closure during a press briefing on February 2, emphasizing the absence of court operations during the specified period.

Supreme Court Justice Mike Chibita, also the chairperson of the conference organizing committee, outlined the conference’s objectives, including judges sharing experiences, addressing the case backlog, discussing Artificial Intelligence in judgment tools, and addressing health and management issues within the Judiciary.

The conference will culminate in the grand opening of the twin towers housing the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal on Friday, February 9, with President Museveni as the chief guest. The Chief Registrar, Ms. Sarah Langa Siu, detailed the schedule, including key speeches and the commissioning of the buildings, ending with the New Law year.

Ms. Langa revealed that the opening ceremony is expected to attract about 500 guests, with Chief Justices from South Sudan, Tanzania, and Somalia confirming their attendance. The construction of the twin towers, costing Shs110b, is anticipated to save the Judiciary at least Shs6 billion annually in rental expenses.

She added that the Judiciary will host a court open day on February 29 at Kololo Independence Grounds, encouraging public interaction with higher court officials and justice service providers. The event aims to educate the public about court procedures and gather feedback on the justice system’s operations. Ms. Langa emphasized the openness of the event to the public, inviting them to witness the proceedings and engage with justice service providers.

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