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Wednesday, 02 October 2019 09:25

Uganda delegation attends 2019 WIPO Conference


Uganda delegation led by the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Hon. Maj Gen. Kahinda Otafiire joined other delegates from the World Intellectual Property’s  192 member states to consider a range of work on issues related to Intellectual Property, the bedrock for economic policy in a globalized, technology-driven world.

Decisions taken by Member State delegates at the WIPO Assemblies bolster the global intellectual property (IP) framework, the future of innovation and creativity and WIPO’s role in promoting the economic, social & cultural development of all countries.

The Uganda delegation emphasized that in a globalized economy, WIPO will continue to play an important role in achieving balanced rules of intellectual property protection, and noted that Uganda will continue to invest in the use of IP to realize the national development goals.


Source: Bemanya Twebaze (via LinkedIn)


Published: Oct. 2 2019

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BRUSSELS - Hon. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs from 27th to 28th February 2019 participated in the 7th world congress against the death penalty held in Brussels, Belgium.

The Hon. Minister was accompanied by Uganda’s Ambassador the Brussels, H.E Mirjaam Blaak Sow.

The conference drew participants from across the globe including ministers and civil society representatives from several African countries notably Guinea, Uganda, Sudan, Burkina Faso and Kenya.

During meetings, participants discussed the death penalty situation in their respective countries and tackled issues such as applying the death penalty in cases of terrorism.

By Edgar Kuhimbisa / Published: 1 March 2019

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The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Hon. Kahinda Otafiire on February 7, 2019 participated in a high level ministerial segment at the Access to Justice Conference held in The Hague, Netherlands. The event hosted by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs was aimed at facilitating dialogue and interaction around Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16.3 that seeks to ensure equal access to justice for all by 2030. 

Hon. Otafiire attended the event at the invitation of Her Excellency Sigrid A.M. Kaag, the Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Kingdom of Netherlands. In his statement, Hon. Otafiire shared Uganda’s access to justice journey and the success story of the Sector-wide approach being spearheaded by the Justice, Law and Order Sector.

During the ministerial segment of the conference that drew participants from all over the world, strategies for the delivery of SDG 16.3 were explored and access to justice experiences were shared. The meeting was also aimed at developing recommendations and potential commitments to deliver justice for all.




By Edgar Kuhimbisa / Published: February 12, 2019

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The Honourable Chief Justice of Uganda 

The Honourable Deputy Chief Justice of Uganda 

Honourable Ministers

The Honourable Principal Judge

My Lords, Justices and Judges of the Courts of Judicature  

Your Excellency, the Head of delegation of the European Union 

Chairperson of the JLOS Development Partners Group  

Your Excellences, Heads of Diplomatic Missions to Uganda 

Honourable Members of Parliament Present,

Heads of JLOS and other Government Institutions, 

Members of the JLOS Steering and Technical Committees  

Members of the JLOS Coordination Committees  

Distinguished invited guests in your respective capacities  

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my honour to welcome you all, in your various capacities to the 23rd Joint Government of Uganda - Development Partners’ Annual Review of the Justice Law and Order Sector, 2018. 

On behalf of the Justice Law and Order Sector, and on behalf of the JLOS Leadership Committee, I would like to thank each and every one of you for responding so graciously to our invitation to be part of the Annual Review for the Financial Year 2017/2018. We are delighted to receive you at this apex event on the JLOS calendar.

Once again we convene to celebrate our achievements, analyse the challenges we are faced with, and reflect on the strategic direction for further development of justice and the rule of law that the Government of Uganda, with support from its Development Partners, has mapped out for the people of Uganda. 

This annual review is the first under the Fourth Sector Development Plan (SDP IV), and I am glad to inform you that we have started on a good footing, sustaining positive progress under the three JLOS thematic areas of focus that include;

1. Enhancing infrastructure and access to JLOS services.

2. Promoting the observance of human rights and fight corruption.

3. Strengthening the commercial justice and the environment for competitiveness.

This strategic focus underpins the pivotal role of the JLOS Sector in creating and ensuring an enabling environment for not only good governance and the rule of law, but more importantly the economic growth and development of Uganda. 

The JLOS reforms and developments are geared toward guaranteeing a safe and secure environment for business and investment, ensuring timely resolutions of commercial disputes, streamlining business establishments and management, enabling fast movement of labour across borders, and promoting a stable modern regime of commercial laws. Indeed this is the foundation on which Uganda’s economic development is anchored, and therefore our success is a boost to economic growth and development as we aspire for a middle income status. 

As you will learn from the presentation of the 2017/2018 JLOS Annual Performance Report that will be presented today, we as a Sector remain committed to deliver on these three strategic undertakings as enshrined under the Fourth Sector Development Plan, in line with the Second National Development Plan (NDP II), the Uganda Vision 2040, and the National Resistance Movement Manifesto. 

To demonstrate this commitment, the macro performance of the JLOS Sector in the preceding year has been impressive and we owe this to the support from the Government of Uganda, the JLOS Development Partners, Civil Society Organisations, and the people of Uganda. 

Specifically, the Sector registered positive progress on all its four macro performance indicators that include;

1. Increase in public satisfaction with JLOS services from 72% in 2016/17 to 76% in 2017/18.

2.Increase in Public trust in the Justice system from 49% in 2016/17 to 59% in 2017/18

3. Increase in the Index of Judicial Independence from 3.41 in 2016 to 3.42 in 2017, on a scale of 1 to 5. 

4. Maintenance by the Uganda Human Rights Commission of its “A” status accreditation that is granted to effective and independent national human rights institutions.

I must also note that at Cabinet level, we have made strides in considering the key JLOS serving policies and legislations such as the Transitional Justice Policy among others, and these shall be finalised at an appropriate time.

The details of the JLOS performance will be presented to us in the course of today’s deliberations.

Therefore, I would like to thank the JLOS heads of institutions, departmental heads, the JLOS Secretariat, and indeed all JLOS staff for the visible and demonstrable achievements that we have realised over the years, and particularly in the previous financial year. Collectively we have stayed true to the promise and responsibility of the National Resistance Movement, as reflected in Vision 2040 and the NDP II, to ensure justice for all without any discrimination while at the same time foster the development of our country. We must always stay alive to the fact that our efforts in ensuring justice for all have a direct bearing on not only the good governance and human rights consensus, but more importantly to the economic development and prosperity of all people of Uganda.

While we celebrate our collective achievements, we must not forget the challenges that require our sustained partnership and collective effort to overcome. Central among these include;

1. Inadequate infrastructure development to ensure appropriate premises from which to serve the public. Some of the critical areas of focus include the high rent bill paid to commercial landlords and the limited operational spaces such as the low holding capacity of prisons resulting in untenable congestion.

2. Incomplete national coverage of JLOS services. Some people in Uganda still travel long distances to access JLOS services, many of whom include poor and vulnerable sections of the population.

3. Understaffing of many key JLOS institutions. Currently, only the Judicial Service Commission has a fully staffed structure. This challenge is largely a result of financial limitations and has a direct negative impact on the efficiency and effectives of our service delivery.

These challenges and many others notwithstanding, implementation of the JLOS Sector Development Plan is on course with over 75% of the set targets on track.

Once again, I welcome you to this year’s annual review. I must note that while in the past we have converged in hotels and other commercial premises around Kampala, I am delighted to welcome you to the Law Development Centre and indeed we do not have pay an bills for the venue. This cost saving approach is a product of our collaboration, and a demonstration of the Sector’s commitment towards self-sufficiency. Such savings should be channelled to expand access to JLOS services for especially the poor and vulnerable people in the different corners of the country.

I would like to thank the Government of Uganda, and particularly His Excellence the President of the Republic of Uganda for ensuring that JLOS receives funding to sustain this course of development. These achievements are a celebration of the Government’s commitment to justice and the rule of law, and many of which have come to bear with the generous support of the various JLOS Development Partners, and other non-state actors. As a Sector, we remain committed to Empowering the people of Uganda – Building public trust in our institutions – Upholding human rights and the rule of law.

Finally, with these few remarks, I once again welcome you to the 23rd Joint Government of Uganda- Development partners’ Annual Review of the Justice Law and Order Sector, 2018.


Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs

Maj. Gen (RTD) Kahinda Otafire


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KAMPALA - The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Hon. Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Kahinda Otafiire this afternoon met with a visiting delegation from Estonia led by the Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon. Väino Reinart. The Estonian delegation is in the country on a two-day official visit to engage with the Government of Uganda on aspects cooperation and partnership between Uganda and Estonia in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector.

The Honorable Minister welcomed Hon. Reinart to Uganda and underscored the need for increased partnership between Uganda and Estonia not only in the domain of ICT but in other economically viable fields of agriculture, transport, power generation and tourism. He further requested the Estonian delegation to explore Public Private Partnerships (PPP) as a viable model for implementation of projects in Uganda.

The Ag. Solicitor General, Ms. Harriet Lwabi in her remarks underscored the need for technology driven processes in the Ministry. She said this would relate to areas of case management, electronic records management, information sharing and collaboration. Ms. Lwabi also emphasised the need for integration of information systems among all players in the Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) as a mechanism for improving effectiveness and efficiency in service delivery. 

Hon. Reinart thanked the minister for the warm welcome and said Estonia is eager to create long lasting partnerships with Uganda that will facilitate knowledge transfer and human capacity development in the implementation of E-Government programs. He invited the minister to visit Estonia later this year to see first-hand how technology has revolutionised the Estonian economy, contributed to improved access to services in the justice sector and facilitated citizen empowerment. 

Present at this meeting from the Ministry of Justice was the Director of Legal Advisory services, Mr. Christopher Gashirabake; the Director First Parliamentary Counsel, Ms. Harriet Lwabi (and Ag. Solicitor General); representatives from the Directorate of civil Litigation, the Law Council and the JLOS Secretariat.

Hon. Reinart was accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and business representatives from leading ICT players in Estonia’s private sector such as Net Group, Nortal and Aktors. During this visit, the Estonian delegation will also pay a courtesy call on the Deputy Chief Justice, Hon. Justice Alphonse Owiny-Dollo.




By Edgar Kuhimbisa | Published: May 10, 2018

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GENEVA - Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Hon. Maj. Gen. (RTD). Kahinda Otafiire, has told the 2017 General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organization that protection of Traditional Knowledge and the country’s genetic resources, from misappropriation, is a key ingredient of Uganda’s  National Intellectual Property strategy for promoting creativity and innovation amongst its indigenous peoples and local communities to promote access to alternative health care, food security, preservation of biodiversity and sustainable development.” Hon Otafiire who is leading Uganda’s delegation to the Assemblies, emphasized the contribution of Traditional knowledge systems to the social and economic development of Uganda.

Member States of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and its decision-making bodies are meeting this week, in Geneva Switzerland, from 02 – 11 October 2017, with the hope of reaching a decision to convene a high-level meeting (diplomatic conference) to conclude a potential international instrument(s) or Treaty, in 2019 aimed at preventing the misappropriation of genetic resources, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions. African countries are primary beneficiaries of this treaty. This is because the modern intellectual property system does not, neither adequately protect traditional knowledge systems nor local inventions based on genetic resources/traditional cultural artifacts/materials.

In his statement, Hon Otafiire told the Assembly that a potential treaty to protect genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore, at the international level is a priority issue for Uganda in the WIPO. Traditional knowledge systems in Uganda have long been used to ensure access to alternative medicines (e.g. herbalists), promote sustainable agricultural production and conserve the environment. He concluded by urging Member States to negotiate in a transparent and cooperative manner and with good faith to ensure that a diplomatic conference to negotiate a treaty to prevent misappropriation of Genetic resources in 2019.

The WIPO has been a key development partner for Uganda in the field of intellectual property undertaking technical assistance activities to encourage innovation and protection of intellectual property including; technical support to Uganda in upgrading and maintenance of the Intellectual Property Automated System (IPAS); training and capacity building for human resources; support in the form a regional workshop on intellectual property and Traditional Knowledge for economic development.

WIPO member states have a daunting task to negotiate the renewal of the mandate of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC), which expired in June 2017. The IGC has always held a renewable two-year mandate since it commenced text based negotiations in 2009.  It will be particularly important for African countries, as key demanders for protection of genetic resources and traditional knowledge to ensure that the General Assembly agrees to convene a diplomatic conference to conclude a treaty in 2019. 

The WIPO General Assembly will also decide, among other things: approving the program and budget of the organization for the 2018/2019 biennium; on furthering discussions for potential treaties to protect broadcasting organizations (the Broadcast Treaty), and; simplifying the international applications for industrial designs - the Design Law Treaty (DLT).

In other discussions, the WIPO General Assembly will discuss reports from various committees. At the WIPO General Assembly each committee reports on its activities over the past year. Of particular importance to Uganda and other developing countries is the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) as well as the Committee on the law of Patents. The committee is responsible for implementation of the 2007 WIPO Development Agenda by ensuring that development aspects are streamlined in all WIPO’s work including the Programme and budget. The last session of the Committee tasked the organization to ensure that the Sustainable Development Goals are fully streamlined in WIPO’s activities. 

In a related development, On Monday 02 October 2017, several officers were elected to various offices. Uganda’s Mr. Bemanya Twebaze, the Registrar General of Uganda Registration Service Bureau, was elected the President of the Paris Union Assembly, and Ambassador Christopher Onyanga Aparr, Permanent Representative  of Uganda to the United Nations Office in Geneva, has been serving as the Second Vice Chairman of the Coordination Committee. 


Source: Uganda Mission to the United Nations, Geneva | Published: October 5 2017


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Wednesday, 06 September 2017 11:08

Judiciary Suspends Industrial Action


The Judicial officers, who have been on strike since August 25, 2017 have resolved to return to work tomorrow (September 7, 2017).

But the judicial officers under their umbrella the Uganda Judicial Officers Association (UJOA) have set a deadline of December 11, 2017 for government to meet all their demands, lest they resume industrial action.

Judicial officers who include Judges at all levels of the High Court to the Supreme Court, Registrars and Magistrates reached a consensus on September 5, 2017 to call of the strike after the Government promised to fulfill their demands by October, 2017.

In a unanimous resolution, the Judicial Officers who congregated under UJOA decided to resume work as they continue engaging the Government in their discussion on their salaries and welfare.



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As you are aware, Judicial Officers went into industrial action seeking for salary enhancement and improvement of their working conditions.

Many other groups have also been agitating for salary enhancements.

Government Interventions

Since the Judicial Officers laid down their tools, high-level consultations have been carried out between the Executive, the Judiciary and the Judicial Service Commission to address concerns of the Judicial Officers and other groups.

Relatedly, Cabinet directed the Ministry of public service to develop a comprehensive pay policy to harmonize pay across Government. This exercise is expected to be concluded by October 2017.

This will address the issue of pay disparities in Government and salary enhancement based on four principles of equity, adequacy, affordability and sustainability.

In the short-term, Government has committed to address the Judicial Officers’ working conditions by providing:

  1. a) Transport;
  2. b) Security; and
  3. c) Office equipment.

In the medium term, Government will focus on provision of housing for Judicial Officers and review their emoluments in tandem with other public servants.

The Government is also fast tracking the enactment of the Administration of the Judiciary Bill, 2016 to enhance the administration of the Judiciary as another arm of Government.

Government Appeal

The Government appeals to all Judicial Officers to return to work as Government addresses their concerns and for other public officers.

The Government further appeals to other public officers who are demanding for salary enhancement to be patient as the Government fast tracks the harmonization of pay across Government.





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My Lord, The Chief Justice

Honourable Ministers present

My Lord the Resident Judge

Members of the JLOS Leadership Committee

Members of the JLOS Steering Committee

Registrar General, Uganda Registration Services Bureau

Resident District Commissioner

Chairman L.C. V

Your Worships Registrars and Magistrates present

Members of the Mitooma District Chain-linked Committee

Ladies and Gentlemen


It is my honour and pleasure to welcome you to this important event as we prepare for the construction of a home for the Justice Law and Order Sector in Mitooma. This is an important event for us because it marks another milestone in our journey to extend the JLOS services to all parts of this country.

These Justice Centres are a demonstration of the commitment of the Government to ensuring Justice for all and to providing quality services that are accessible to those who require them the most. This commitment will be further strengthened through the deployment and tooling of adequate staff to man these offices and through strengthened observance of standards in customer care and service delivery. 

The Sector is working towards strengthening customer care and delivering of results. This is will be through the development and delivery of demand driven programmes that address key challenges and needs of the community. We will also continue with the development of Client Charters that state our pledge to the public and through performance management mechanisms aimed at ensuring consistent delivery of quality services. 

We urge the public therefore to make good use of these premises and the services that are offered and be vigilant in guarding your rights to access to quality and timely justice. Above all we call on you to support us in our efforts to fight all forms of corruption by not engaging in or encouraging our staff to engage in malpractices and further by reporting any cases. Promoting the Rule of Law and ensuring the maintenance of law and order is a shared responsibility and, while we commit to providing better access and quality of justice services, we call on you to participate in these justice processes at all levels and support us in achieving greater access to justice.

As a sector we are working towards the de-concentration of additional services such as advisory services, registration service and immigration services.  We are further working towards the development of structures for the provision of legal aid services. These are intended to provide service points for the provision of legal advice and representation to those who cannot afford legal representation. We believe that this system would go a great way in addressing the challenges and bottlenecks that the most vulnerable members of society face in fulfilling their rights and creating an environment for economic development. 

These processes are further supported by national justice programmes such as Community Service Programme, plea bargaining and small claims procedure which are part of the larger initiative to address case backlog, community policing and legal aid programmes. These programmes will be strengthened throughout the Country and particularly here in Mitooma through the presence of this new Justice Centre. 

I call on you all to make full use of the services offered. Take a keen interest in the work of the institutions present and do not fear to demand for services or to engage with our offices either directly or through the District Chain-linked committees. It is through this healthy engagement that we can learn how best to serve you and meet your needs. We thank you, the people of Mitooma, for providing us with the land to build this centre and we in turn commit to constructing infrastructure that is to the best standard possible. 

Allow me, to take this opportunity to thank our development partners, whose commitment and support to the Sector has ensured that we are able to continue with this drive to bring services nearer to the people. We give them and the people of Uganda the assurance that the funds provided to the Sector will make a valuable contribution to access to justice in Mitooma and in Uganda as a whole.

To the staff of the Justice Law and Order Sector here in Mitooma and other members of District Chain Linked Committee, thank you for the hard work that you have put in to preparing this function.  I ask that your efforts be continued once the centre is complete and that we put the centre to good use for the benefit of the community that we are here to serve.

I thank you all for your attention. 

It is now my honour privilege to invite the Honourable the Chief Justice to address you.


Hon Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire (Rtd.)


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The Honourable Chief Justice of Uganda

The Honourable Deputy Chief Justice of Uganda

The Honourable Principal Judge

My Lords, Justices and Judges of the Courts of Judicature

Your Excellency, the Head of delegation of the European Union and Chairperson of the JLOS Development Partners Group

Your Excellences, Heads of Diplomatic Missions to Uganda

Honourable Members of Parliament

Heads of JLOS Institutions

Members of the JLOS Steering and Technical Committees

Members of the JLOS Coordination Committees

Distinguished invited guests in your respective capacities

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I welcome you all to the 21st Joint Annual Review of the JLOS Sector for the financial year 2015/16. 


This review focuses on the fourth year of implementation of the third JLOS Strategic Investment Plan (JLOS SIP III) which is also the 16th year of the JLOS Sector Wide Approach arrangement. The theme of this year’s annual review is “A pro people justice system: Building public trust”. This ties in well with the Sector undertaking under SIP III, to address the issue of vulnerability to enhance access to justice for the marginalized and eliminate all forms of bottlenecks in accessing JLOS services. 

The JLOS Sector has grown over the years from nascent formation phases in 1999, harnessed synergies under the sector wide approach to now one of the most effective and integrated sector arrangements. As many of you may recall, we started with the SIP I phase from 2000 to 2004 with a focus on structural developments and formation, SIP II that covered 2005 to 2010 focused on consolidation of gains and achievements under SIP II. When we developed and commenced the SIP III, our strategic focus was to have a strategic policy shift to focus on deepening reforms and entrench pro poor people centered justice. To-date, the Sector-Wide Approach (SWAp) has grown to 18 institutions across civil and criminal justice spheres. 

The JLOS Sector report will be presented at both the outcome and output levels in line with the JLOS SIP III indicators and performance bench marks. The report portrays the achievements of the Sector from implementation of programs and interventions by the 18 Justice institutions.

The Sector has registered improved coordination right from the District level where District Chain linked Committees are operational, enhanced the quality of justice services delivered to the public, and increased geographical coverage as a result of opening up of new service delivery points. You will for instance observe from the presentations that will be made today, that the sector’s coverage of districts increased by 7% from 75% in the previous year, to now 82%. In practical terms, the Police has expanded its presence to all sub-counties in the country, the High Court Circuit has been expanded to 19 circuits, and Chief Magisterial areas increased over two fold to 81.

I recognize and extend gratitude to the JLOS Development Partners that have stood by us and provided both technical and financial support towards the implementation of many of the Sector’s programs and interventions. In addition, I also recognize the crucial role played by various Non-Governmental Organizations such as the Legal Aid Service Providers’ Network, in complementing the Sector’s interventions. As partners in development, we believe that our success is a shared success and this underpins the purpose of our convergence today.

I take this opportunity to thank all JLOS institutions for the effort made over the past financial year. Special mention goes to the JLOS Secretariat and the Sector Policy Planning Units. Substantial achievements have been registered despite the number of challenges and limitations encountered.

I once again thank you for setting time off your busy schedules to be part of this year’s annual review. I look forward to a constructive dialogue with a view of achieving our common goal of ensuring justice for all.

I invite the Honourable Chief Justice to give his address.


Hon. Kahinda Otafiire





Annual Review Document Centre (Speeches and Presentations)

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