Judiciary undergoes major reshuffles, only Nyamagabe spared

The Superior Council of the Judiciary has announced a nationwide major shakeup of court officials.
Busingye.
Busingye.

The Superior Council of the Judiciary has announced a nationwide major shakeup of court officials.

The country-wide transfers affected the High Court, Courts of Grand Instance and Lower Instance.

According to the President of the High Court, Johnston Busingye, the purpose of the reshuffles was to improve service delivery, judicial management and inspection.

"The whole thing means that there is a re-emphasis by the Superior Council of the judiciary on performance, leadership and accountability," said Busingye

All presidents and vice-presidents of the Courts of Grand Instance were transferred apart from those in Nyamagabe.

"They were good and we are happy with their work efforts," he said.

The reshuffle also saw some presidents of courts dropped to the role of mere judges in an effort to enforce leadership.

A new branch of the High Court – the Inspectorate General of Courts – is in place to coordinate an EU funded project dealing with a backlog to the tune of 18,000 cases per year.

Busingye explained that the backlog problem has been due to two main reasons; many cases accumulated during the 2002–2004 reforms. In addition to that, the current number of cases entering the judicial system is big.

"We need to double our efforts in order to manage this situation," he said. Measures to check the backlog include a proposal for legal amendments and, mobilizing communities in conflict resolution.

Presently, every appeal case is handled by three judges but it has been proposed that an amendment be made to allow one judge per case to increase the number of cases handled by the courts. "In the Courts of Lower Instance, we aimed at reinforcing performance with special emphasis on very busy places like trading centres," said Busingye.

More measures are expected to be taken by judicial authorities to improve performance.

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