A group of 13 people, including a retired UPDF general have been shortlisted to become justices of the Supreme Court, the Nile Post has learnt.
According to a shortlist released by the Judicial Service Commission, Brig.Charles Wacha Angulo, the former UPDF director in charge of human rights is among the 13 people who have been shortlisted.
Brig.Wacha was among the 19 generals who retired from active service of the Ugandan army in July.
The list released last week has mostly justices of the court of Appeal and these include the current chairperson of the commission of inquiry on land matters, Catherine Bamugemereire, Hellen Obura, Ezekiel Muhanguzi, Stephen Musota, Elizabeth Musoke, Cheborion Barishaki, Goeffrey Kiryabwire, Percy Tuhaise and Joseph Murangira.
Others are Director of Public Prosecutions, Mike Chibita, Justice Henry Peter Adonyo Atim, and Raphael Baku, the former Deputy Inspector General of Government.
According to the Judicial Service Commission, one only qualifies for appointment as a justice of the Supreme Court, if he or she has served as a justice of the Appeals court or High Court.
The Judicial Service Commission says someone can also be appointed a justice of the Supreme Court if they have served a court similar to a jurisdiction with the High Court, Court of Appeal or has practiced as an advocate for a period not less than 15 years before a court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters.
The 13 names of the shortlisted persons will then be recommended to President Museveni who in accordance with powers vested in the President by the 1995 constitution of the Republic of Uganda and basing on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission will have the discretion to choose three people to become justices of the Supreme Court in Uganda.
The three successful candidates’ names will then be forwarded to the parliamentary appointments committee chaired by the Speaker of Parliament for vetting.
Early this year, the Chief Justice, Bart Katureebe said the limited number of judges is having an effect on the current case backlog that Ugandan courts are facing.
Responding to President Museveni’s announcement that he will now allow any more recruitment of judges due to absence of funds to pay for their salaries, Katureebe said the ban will affect the public who are the consumers of justice.
The Supreme Court of Uganda headed by the Chief Justice currently has 11 justices.