Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Deputy Chief Justice Richard Buteera and Principle Judge Dr. Flavian Nzeija have warned the newly appointed High Court judges against incompetence. They asked those who find the job stressful to quit early enough or face the boot.
Closing this week’s induction, Justice Buteera singled out late coming to work, failure to hear cases and deliver judgments on time, lack of courtesy to fellow staff, advocates, and court users, and outright abuse of judicial ethics.
Buteera said they are called “Your Lordships” because society expects of them excellent conduct, and their actions should speak to that. He said that judgments were expected to be delivered within sixty days following the close of the hearing.
Nzeija said there were also others who exhibited incompetence by disposing of an unrealistic number of cases in an entire year.
“I will be breathing over your neck about your performance. It’s early for you to quit if you think it’s not your calling,” Nzeija said adding there was no justification for someone disposing of merely six cases in an entire year to be called “Your Lordship.” Dr
Nzeija said that they are paid from public coffers and they should endeavor to reflect this through diligent service in public life and uphold the image of the judicial department both in public and private life.
The induction was intended to equip the new judges with the ethics, values, and culture of the judiciary.
Buteera told the judges that they had been appointed at a time when the people they served were more enlightened than those served by their predecessors, and were, therefore, more critical.
He asked them to collaborate with other justice actors outside the judiciary to be able to understand the demands of the society they serve.
Buteera said that the justices should promote faster disposal of cases by embracing alternative dispute resolution through plea bargains for criminal cases and mediation and reconciliation in civil matters. He urged they always inform litigants of their right to appeal when judgments are delivered.
The induction was conducted by the Judicial Training Institute whose governing council chairperson, Justice Mike Chibita cautioned the judges on late coming.