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Judiciary receives equipment to expedite hearing of GBV cases

Officials from UN Women and Australia Development Cooperation handing some of the equipment to the Principal Judge. URN photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Judiciary has received electronic equipment worth 350 Million Shillings to boost efforts in fast-tracking gender-based violence cases.

The equipment that included 30 desktop computers, two sets of court recording and transcription machines were donated by the Australian Development Cooperation together with the United Nations Women.

While speaking at the handover of the equipment at the Judiciary headquarters in Kampala on Thursday, Dr Roswitha Kremser, the head of Australian Development Cooperation noted that the donation is part of the project they are implementing with the Judiciary aimed at making sure that survivors or victims of gender-based violence access quality and integrated essential justice services.

Roswitha says that many women in the country contribute a big percentage to development and therefore their access to justice is key.

The Permanent Secretary to the Judiciary Pius Bigirimana, revealed that the project is being implemented in 11 courts. They are High Court Criminal Division, Soroti, Gulu and Fort Portal High Court Circuits and Chief Magistrates Courts of Moroto, Tororo, Gulu, Buganda Road, Kasese and Fort Portal.

Bigirimana adds that the Judiciary in 2021 had planned to train judicial officers in sign language, court interpretation services and GBV vocabularies but they were engaged in election petitions. He says that the judicial officers will be trained in February and March 2022.

Principal Judge Dr Flavian Zeija noted that the machines will help the Judiciary to strengthen the use of Information Communication Technology-ICT, in the administration of justice.

Zeija says that the support will further help the Judiciary to get accurate data and be in a position to plan for effective adjudication of GBV cases.

He adds that the court recording equipment once installed will also facilitate judicial officers to capture pieces of evidence adduced in court and it will also enable them to avoid handwriting evidence or proceedings.

According to Zeija, writing evidence has the danger of some oral evidence skipping a judicial officer during the trial.

The donation comes at the time when the Judiciary will start implementing the Electronic Case Management Information System -ECCMIS which is aimed at eliminating the use of papers in filing and submissions of information in court.

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