The Chief Justice Bart Katureebe has instructed judges to stop the habit of leaving office with pending judgments, saying this has greatly contributed to the issue of case backlog in the country.
Katureebe said some judges complained to him about their colleagues who abandon cases on retirement or transfer.
According to a report released by Case Backlog Reduction Committee in January this year, Ugandan courts were stuck with over 150,000 cases.
Since then the Chief Justice has conducted several meetings with judges and magistrates on how to reduce this with the latest being the meeting with at Grand Imperial hotel.
During the meeting, the chief justice Bart Katureebe instructed all judges around the country to handle pending judgments as they retire or are transferred. He asked them to refuse new cases six months to leaving office.
“The constitution allows a judge three months to complete any pending work, so when you know you are to retire, don’t take up new cases 6 months prior to retirement,” he said.
On whether this won’t contribute to delayed judgment for prisoners, Katureebe said , he will put a policy in place to ensure a quick successive police where new judges quickly take up cases from those retiring.
“These cases will be handled administratively, other judges will be assigned those cases because we shall all be in the know that this judge is about to retire, what’s the point of letting you take up a case we know you will leave unfinished, this means the new judge has to hear the case afresh,” he said.
The judges were also quick to defend themselves saying, they are sometimes not accorded enough time to plan their retirement or transfer.