The Uganda Law Society (ULS) has asked the Legal and Parliamentary Committee to work on the autonomy of the Judiciary arm of the government as a way of improving efficiency in the justice system.
The former President of Uganda Law Society, Francis Gimara while appearing before the Committee to give the Society’s views on the Administration of the Judiciary Bill 2018 noted that despite the fact that the Judiciary is an arm of government, their budget is still under the Executive which affects the running of the organ.
He appeared together with the ULS President, Simon Peter Kinobe.
Gimara said that the financial autonomy of the Judiciary will go a long way in improving the administration of justice noting that most of the problems in the Judiciary have been caused by lack of financial autonomy.
He said that when Parliament allocates money to judiciary under the current arrangement, it can be used to address case backlog as well as recruiting more judicial officers.
“What the Bill is asking for is that if any allocations to the Judiciary are made, they should be left exclusively for the administration of justice,” he said.
“Today, the people at Ministry of Finance will wake up when there is an emergency, Judiciary is just seen like other Ministries and their budget will be cut,” Gimara said.
‘This affects the prisoners and administration of justice in a fundamental way. If the Bill is not passed, we shall continue with the current problems like case backlog and few judicial officers.”
Gimara has also urged the committee to ensure that the Bill addresses the retirement benefits of judges as these will go a long way in curing corruption.
“When someone decides to become a Judge, they are meant to give up all their other sources of income and sometimes when they reach retirement they begin to think about how they will retire”.
Gimara also wants the Chief Justice to become the head of Judicial Service Commission so that he can have powers to discipline judicial officers.