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Judicial officers urged to stop embarrassing court users

Chief Justice Bart Katureebe bids farewell.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The retired Chief Justice Bart Katureebe has appealed to the judicial officers to stop embarrassing court users if they are to dispense meaningful justice.

Katureebe noted that most of the court users especially lawyers and witnesses always get embarrassed over small matters and you find that it affects them from getting justice for their clients yet they can be corrected.

He revealed this on Friday night while presiding over a dinner for his guests who had come to bid farewell to him at his official home in Nakasero that has been termed as the state house of the Judiciary as he officially handed it over to the new Chief Justice Owiny-Dollo.

Katureebe gave an example when he was a junior State Attorney in the Attorney General’s chambers and given a file case to argue before a Chief magistrates court. On the same day, the Chief Magistrate adjourned court on grounds that the “court was tired and couldn’t listen to him.”

With laughter as he spoke to his guests, Katureebe reportedly objected to the adjournment wondering how “the court” gets tired and he realized that the judicial officers were not working in the afternoons.

As such, the Chief magistrate who has since died had Katureebe held in the dock for two hours before asking him to proceed later on. But Katureebe refused to proceed after the detention because he had been embarrassed by being held in the dock for having objected to the adjournment.

On his part, the new Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo agreed with Katureebe that the judicial officers can be in charge of their courts with humility but not embarrassing the court users.

He appreciated the retired Chief Justice for his achievements more so the administration of the Judiciary Act which according to him made the Judiciary’s plate full, as well as grooming him as the first Deputy Chief Justice to ascend to Chief Justice level.

Owiny-Dollo added that he (Dollo) may spend his leadership without making a significant change like that equivalent to the enactment of the Administration of Judiciary Act which empowers the institution to be as independent as the rest of the two arms of the government.

The new Deputy Chief Justice Richard Buteera appealed to everyone holding a public office to maintain good working relationships with their clients and workmates like Katureebe did which added value to the Judiciary.

The function that was attended by several dignitaries especially from the Justice Law and Order Sector closed with a number of gifts being offered to the Chief Justice Emeritus Katureebe for his exemplary leadership.

Katureebe retired on June 20, 2020 after clocking 70 years, the mandatory age of retirement for Supreme Court Justices.

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