Uganda Judges seek training sessions for Electronic Case Management System

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Several judges have confessed their inability to use the Electronic Case Management System and asked the judiciary to organise for them training sessions to acquire the necessary skills.

This came to the fore during the 22nd Annual Judges Conference held under the theme “Discharging the mandate of the Judiciary: Towards a Modern Professional and Effective Judiciary.”

It all started after Justice Geoffrey Kiryabwire, the head of the Judiciary’s Information and Communication Technological Committee asked the Judges to embrace the Electronic Case Management System so as to eliminate duplication in their work.

Justice Kiryabwire noted that currently some cases are mismanaged during entry in the registry where they are recorded in books badly by clerks before the information is transferred to computers.

He explained that because of the voluminous files, which also occupy a lot of space, sometimes it becomes very difficult to access some records.

He encouraged the judges to embrace the Electronic Case Management System for filing, executing, notifying, and court payments among others.

Justice Kiryabwire’s submission drew reactions from several judges, saying they lack sufficient knowledge and skills to use the system.

Supreme Court Judge Professor Lillian Tibatemwa said they need to dedicate one court room where demonstrations can be held to show them how to use the internet to do execution and payments.

Justice Henrietta Wolayo said she needed for instance to be taught how one can obtain witness statements and admit evidence using the electronic case management system.

Justice Patricia Basaza on the other hand said she knows some Judges who can’t even use search engines, saying there is need to reach out to telecom service providers to give them the necessary support.

In 2019, the Judiciary Permanent Secretary, Pius Bigirimana unveiled the Shillings 9 billion Electronic Case Management System after signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Synergy International Systems Incorporated  to help improve efficiency in the judiciary.

Although some judges are in favor of the system, Supreme Court Judge Ezekiel Muhanguzi, who first made a disclaimer saying he wasn’t a Prophet of doom, argued that he knows that the system can’t work in Uganda because of unreliable network.

However, the Chief Justice, Bart Katureebe said that everything is applicable as long as Judges have a positive attitude towards it.

He noted that the same has been applied in countries like Rwanda, Lesotho and Malaysia with huge success.