The Judiciary has been urged to internalise the historical mission of the State and work together with the government to sustain that mission.
The call was made by President Yoweri Museveni during the opening ceremony of the 21st Annual Judges Conference this morning at the Kampala Serena Hotel.
“Society is governed by the State and each State has a historical mission and the pillars of the State need to be aware of that mission and see how to work together to sustain that mission, he said.
The 4-day Conference is running under the theme Judicial Ethics’ Integrity and Accountability, a Pre-condition for Improved Access to Justice and Sustainable Development.’
While addressing the gathering, President Museveni, who first reminded the conference of the differences between State, Nation and Country saying the State has pillars of authority that include the Judiciary, the Executive and Legislature, further explained that the phenomenon of the State has been in existence for a long time and each State has a mission noting for example that the mission of the Feudal State was to implement feudalism in society. He said the Colonial States emerged following the collapse of feudalism that later created neo-colonial states.
He told the audience that governments that took over from colonialists made mistakes and one of them was to inherit colonial armies giving birth to bad regimes like that of Idi Amin. He said the National Resistance Movement (NRM) fought the colonial army defeated it and created a new force that has since maintained peace in the country. He, therefore, urged the Judiciary to play its crucial role of providing justice to the people of Uganda.
Regarding understaffing in the Judiciary, the President Yoweri Museveni recommended the improvement of payment to the existing officers. I would rather we concentrate on remunerating better the ones we have and then see how to manage other shortages, he advised.
Mr. Museveni expressed gladness to note that the Chief Justice, Mr. Justice Bart Katureebe, had taken a tough stand on the issue of land issues as it was spiralling to unprecedented levels. He also welcomed the provision of the Judiciary with electronic equipment that he he described as a force multiplier.
President Museveni later launched the new judiciary innovations to enhance the performance and access to justice. Some of the innovations include E-Payment of Court Fees, Toll Free Customer Feedback Hotlines and Online Legal Research Solution.
The Chief Justice, Bart Katureebe, while thanking President Museveni for honouring their invitation, outlined the achievements registered in the year 2018 as well as the challenges the judiciary is facing. On behalf of the Judiciary, he pledged that they will play their role of providing justice to the people of Uganda. He thanked development partners for their support in various areas of the judiciary.
The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Hon. Kahinda Otafiire, said the objective of the conference is to review the performance of the Judiciary in the past year, identify challenges as well as ways of addressing those challenges.