The Chief Justice of Uganda Justice Alphonse Owiny-Dollo has issued fresh Covid-19 guidelines to be followed by all Judicial officers suspending all court hearings for the next 42 days effective Monday, 7th June 2021
This the Chief Justice says is aimed to prevent the spread of the deadly Covid-19 to both the staff and other court users as the country continues to grapple with the transcending second wave of Coronavirus.
“For cases at the stage of submissions, the respective Courts may advise the counsel parties to file written submissions through email addresses provided by the Court,” Chief Justice Owiny-Dollo said.
“Even execution proceedings and processes are hereby suspended for the same period of 42 days. Only urgent matters will be heard during the 42 days. Judicial officers handling urgent business must operate in Court Halls or open spaces at the Courts.”
Owiny-Dollo further advised that whenever practicable, virtual hearing of cases should be adhered to including insisting on written submissions, use of e-mail, on-line delivery of judgments and audio-visual hearings and other modes of contactless communication.”
Meanwhile, all courts departments have been ordered to scale down on the number physical presence of staff at Court and Businesses
“The Heads of Courts and Departments should immediately work out a duty Rota by which Staff shall work in rotation until further directions are issued. For the Courts the duty Rota must include a Judicial Officer and very essential support.”
As for the election petitions which were expected to commence with hearing this week have been pushed to the period after 42 days.
All people heading to court for other businesses which are still operational have been asked to continue observing the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as they were set by the Ministry of Health.