The first-ever Court of Appeal circuit sitting at Kabale high court has begun, aiming to address the pressing issue of a burgeoning criminal case backlog.
Justices including Muzamiru M.Kibeedi, Christopher Gashirabake and Oscar John Kihika are set to deliberate on a total of 33 cases, with murder cases dominating at 17.
Deputy Chief Justice, Honorable Richard Buteera, officially inaugurated the session, emphasizing the critical need for an increased number of judges.
"With only 15 judges, the judiciary faces a daunting challenge in handling the rising number of criminal cases. We are working towards expanding our judicial force from 15 to 56 judges," said Justice Buteera.
He underscored the significance of the Court of Appeal's expansion beyond Kampala.
"While we have primarily been centered in Kampala but our vision is to establish branches nationwide, a proposal awaiting parliamentary deliberation."
During the session, Justice Buteera clarified that due to the sheer volume of cases, the court might not entertain every advocate individually.
He emphasized the primary objective of swiftly disposing of cases and deliver justice to enable citizens to resume their daily duties.
Prominent lawyer Justus Muhangi of Muhangi Advocates Company hailed the session's timing, asserting its pivotal role in addressing the backlog.
"This is a crucial moment for the Court of Appeal to tackle both criminal and civil case backlogs. It instills hope in the people of Kabale, ensuring justice is served locally," remarked Muhangi, highlighting the session's positive impact on local service delivery.
Monica Muhumuza, a Kabale resident, expressed optimism about the session's potential to bring justice to the community.
"The Court of Appeal session is long overdue, but its arrival is timely. It's a significant step towards handling all criminal cases efficiently," she commented, emphasizing the positive outcomes anticipated from the historic three-day session.
As the first-of-its-kind Court of Appeal session unfolds in Kabale, it marks a crucial milestone in the quest for swift justice, promising a positive shift in the resolution of legal matters within the region.