Court of Appeal to hear 45 appeal cases in Masaka

A coram of three Court of Appeal Justices is camping in Masaka where it plans to handle 45 criminal conviction appeal cases.

Justices Remmy Kasule, Ezekiel Muhanguzi and Elizabeth Musoke will camp in Masaka to conduct a three-weeks Court of Appeal session.

The session will handle 45 criminal appeal convictions among them, 20 murders, 16 defilement cases, four rape cases, four murders and one against a sentence of manslaughter.

Opening the session,  Deputy Chief Justice, Alphonse Chigamoi Owiny-Dollo challenged lawyers to save the judiciary of the soaring case backlog by providing appropriate counsel to clients.

According to Dollo, despite the acute shortage of human resources, the courts of judicature especially at appeal level are overwhelmed by matters that could be avoided if judicial officers volunteered appropriate guidance to litigants.

He noted that the available manpower cannot handle the overwhelming numbers of appeal files in the system in a timely manner and thus asked attorneys to always be mindful of the underlying operational challenges and avoid overstretching the judges.

He asked lawyers to courageously advise their clients on judgements obtained from High courts, such that Court of Appeal receives matters that are extremely unavoidable.

Justice Owiny-Dollo also challenged the public to take the task of exerting pressure on government through Parliament to increase the number of judges on the Court of Appeal if they wish to be served better.

Out of the required number of 30 judges, Dollo said, the Court of Appeal is currently staffed with only 14 judges who can hardly satisfy the demand, which sometimes leads to inappropriate delivery of justice.