KAMPALA – Chief Justice Bart Katureebe has suspended court proceeding for one month as a measure to prevent coronaviras pandemic. This is a day after President Yoweri Museveni suspended public gathering, closed schools, tertiary institutions and universities.
Below is Justice Katureebe’ directive.
*ADMINISTRATIVE AND CONTINGENCY MEASURES TO PREVENT AND MITIGATE THE SPREAD OF CORONA VIRUS (COVID-19) BY THE JUDICIARY*
March 19, 2020
In line with the directives issued by His Excellency The President of the Republic of Uganda on the 18th March,2020, on the prevention and mitigation of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Uganda, I hereby issue the following guidelines for the operations of all courts in Uganda:
1. All court hearings and appearances are hereby suspended for the period of 32 days with effect from 20th March, 2020. For cases at the stage of submissions, the respective courts may advise the counsel/parties to file written submissions.
2. During this time, prisoners and remandees will not be presented to court. Where possible proceedings may be conducted using video link.
3. All execution proceedings are hereby suspended for the same period of time except where attachment has already taken place.
4. Courts will continue to handle certificates of urgency and taking plea for serious cases and bail applications. Only the applicant and his/her lawyer, or in the case of bail application, the sureties will be allowed in Court.
5. During this time, all Judicial Officers and staff will continue being on duty. However, there will be no open court appearances. Judicial officers with pending judgments shall use this period to complete them. Where possible Judgments and Rulings may be issued to the Parties online or via E-mail.
6. All conferences, workshops, meetings and training programmes local and foreign are hereby suspended for a period of 32 days.
7. There will be no foreign travels for all Judiciary staff save for exceptional circumstances.
8. In addition to the above guidelines, sanitizers and other preventive measures have already been put in place. Digital Thermometers are also being purchased and will be deployed at various Court premises.
These guidelines may be revised from time to time in accordance with the National Policy directives.
*Bart M. Katureebe*
_*CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA*_