- The call was made by the President of Uganda Law Sociey Bernard Oudo at the celebration of the Benedicto Kiwanuka day.
- The day is held to remember the first Chief Justice who was murdered by President Amin Dada in1972.
- The day was officiated by President Museveni at the High Court Headquarters in Kampala.
The Newly Appointed president of the Ugabda Law society Bernard Oudo, has called upon President Museveni to reign on government agencies and Authorities that continue to undermine the Independence of the Judiciray by defying Court orders among other challenges.
Oudo was speaking at the late Benedicto Kiwanuka Memorial day at the High Court in Kampala that was officiated by President Museveni.
Oudo applauded President Museveni for the tremendous efforts made towards ensuring the Independence of the Judiciary. Citing the enactment of the Judiciary Administration Act 2020, that gives the Judiciary mandate to manage its own affairs and administration. He explained that he has seen the Judiciary budget increased to 376bn for financial year 2011-2022 Inauguration of the Judiciary Council as an oversight to advise the Chief Justice on the administration of justice and reports, alternative disputes resolution and expanded structures of judicial officers.
He also noted that despite the progress made, a number of threats need to be addressed as the country progressively realises the Independence of the Judiciray. According to Oudo, there is need for the respect for Court orders by all persons, institutions and Authorities at all level but, some government institutions treat court orders without any respect and in some instances no attention at all.
He cited security organs like Uganda Police, Intelligence Agencies and state House Anti-Corruption, Health Monitoring units among others as some of the institutions that continue to under mine the Independence of the Judiciray by defying lawful Court orders.
He cited that sometimes the court issues a status quo but these overstep them and do as they wish.Oudo added that court orders are lawful and must be respected at all times since court orders are cardinal tenent rule of law ,Constitutionalism and judicial Independence.
He asked for President Museveni's support in ensuring that security organs respect the courts and that it is only when they respect court orders that the Independence of the Judiciary is realised .
He also mentioned that the Juciary faces other challenges including, public perception that some judges do not act independently and that their decisions are influenced by powers above, which he says is fueled by uninformed political statements by politicians that need to be curtailed and addressed.
He claimed that theories that carder judges are appointed to the Judiciary, and judgements related to human rights are biased continued to undermine the Independence of the Judiciary and the solution was to safe guard the independence of the Judiciary and that Judicial accountability was crucial to judicial integrity.
Oudo added that this entailed Judges being able to be personally be accounted for their actions, and decisions to the community to whom they owe their allegiance since accountability can booster the integrity that judges demonstrate in their performances on the bench, security of tenure by providing stability in the functioning of the courts and prevents any perception of lack of Independence in the Judiciary.
He further advocated for the end to appointing judges in acting Capacity which he says undermines the independence of the Judiciary.
He described Justice Kiwanuka as a selfless statesman who lived a life that stood for truth and justice in Uganda and continuesd to impact generation of Lawyers and the public at large.
Today marked exactly 50 ,years since Justice Kiwanuka was dragged from his Chambers at the High Court in Kampala by Soldiers of the late Iddi Amin Dada and taken to Makindye military barracks were he was murdered and his body allegedly immersed in acid, never to be recovered in 1972.
Oudo stated that this day was not a day of mourning the late first Chief Justice, but to celebrate his life and what he died for which was truth and justice, ontop of promoting Democracy in Uganda.
He also described today as a day of historical proportionate since the now Minister of Justice and Constitutional affairs is Norbert Mao who is the president of the Democratic Party, an Oppostion Party, the Benedicto Kiwanuka founded.
He called upon all stakeholders in the justice Law and Order Sector to reflect on the Independence of the Judiciary in modern times arguing that Judicial Independence is fundamental to Democracy.
According to Oudo, Judicial Independence was a requirement demanded by the Constitution and not in the personal interest of the Judiciary but in Public interest and that without protection, judges would not be seen before the public to be able to perform their duties with out fear or favour.
He explained that the principle of Judicial Independence is measured in the ability by a judge to impartially and independently apply his or her mind to amatter without undue Influence and controlling their administration and appoint their staff members.