October 03, 2023

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Outgoing Chief Justice Bart Katureebe got the perfect send-off when President Yoweri Museveni assented to the Administration of Judiciary Bill, 2018 to make law.

Parliament early this month passed the bill that guarantees the independence of the Judiciary as the third arm of the State under the doctrine of separation of powers and on Friday, June 19, 2020, Museveni appended signature to it to ensure it becomes law.


About the Law

The new law provides for and strengthens the independence of the Judiciary.

The Administration of Judiciary law operationalizes provisions of the Constitution relating to the Judiciary, administration of justice, improve efficiency and effectiveness of the courts, strengthen the independence of courts, and streamline their administration.

The law also creates guidelines and references for a legal and justice system by spelling out jurisdiction divisions, conditions for trials, sentencing, and court fees.




DOWNLOADAdministration of Judiciary Act of 2020


Published: June 19, 2020

The Judiciary has developed a robust Information and Communications Technology (ICT) strategy. It is expected that within the next three years, an e-justice will have been operationalized. Chief Justice Bart Katureebe revealed this on Friday while inaugurating the Legal Aid innovations conference at Hotel Africana in Kampala.

Katureebe said it was imperative that the Government facilitates the development of a legal aid policy and law, adopts a-state-funded legal aid scheme and strengthens community-led initiatives, such as local council courts and a paralegal advisory system that would fill the existing gaps in legal aid service provision.

He, however, regretted that the system was still struggling to eliminate case backlog, which he said was one of the greatest systemic barriers against access to justice.

“The sector is also still grappling with the fact that most Justice Law and Orders Sector (JLOS) institutions remain largely urban-based and unavailable in 18% of the district, while 41% of the institutions operate from premises not fit for the purpose.

The justice system is further faced with many other constraints in service delivery that include lack of modern ICT equipment and reliance on manual processes, low budgetary support to sector institutions, limited legal reference materials, poor remuneration and conditions of service for judicial officers and other staff within the institutions and limited knowledge of the law and human rights by the majority population, among others,” Katureebe further lamented.

He said a report by The Hague Institute for Innovation and the Law (HIIL) on Justice Needs 2016 also revealed that 88% of Ugandans experienced difficulty in accessing justice in the past four years, with land and family cases being rated as the top two most critical disputes.

Katureebe noted that only 18% of the Ugandan population receives legal aid services annually, which leaves the majority, especially the poor and most vulnerable, unable to access justice.      

Katureebe said that such a situation leads to frustration sometimes, culminating into criminality manifesting in acts such as suicide and use of extra judicial means like mob justice, which creates insecurity to the population.


He noted that there is an acute shortage of legal practitioners in rural areas and that the legal aid service providers currently available provide project-led interventions, which are not sustainable. 

“Our focus should be on what work for the ordinary persons who form the majority of our population. Once we develop a simple, user-friendly and cost effective justice system, the majority will be satisfied and the rates of satisfaction will hit through the roof, which will have unprecedented impact on the public confidence in the administration of justice in this country,” Katureebe stressed.


Source: New Vision / Published: September 11, 2017

This is set to be a groundbreaking event that brings together Justices and Judges, legal professionals, policymakers, academics, and Alternative Dispute Resolution practitioners across the country aimed at revolutionizing effective and efficient conflict resolution.

The summit is a platform for fostering collaboration and innovation in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). At this historic summit, attendees will have the opportunity to engage in lively discussions, share insights, and exchange best practices in ADR. Renown keynote speakers, distinguished experts, and visionaries in the field will present cutting-edge research, success stories, and emerging trends in the world of dispute resolution.

FOR MORE INFO: Visit the official event website: https://adrsummit.com/



What Is a Small Claim?

This is a civil claim whose subject matter value does not exceed Ug. Shs. 10,000,000. For example, the small claims procedure (SCP) can be used for matters arising out of the supply of goods, debts and rent.


What Is the Jurisdiction of the SCP Court?

  • The small claims procedure claims procedure is applicable to claims not exceeding Ug.shs 10,000,000 in value.
  • Every suit shall be instituted in a court in whose jurisdiction the cause of action wholly or in part arises.
  • In case of a rental dispute or claim, a small claim is instituted in a court in whose jurisdiction the property is situated or where the defendant resides.


What Matters are excluded from Jurisdiction of The SCP Court?

  • Claims exceeding Ug. Shs. 10,000,000.
  • Claims against the government.
  • Family disputes relating to the management of an estate.
  • Contracts of service and contracts for service.
  • Suits for defamation, wrongly arrest, wrongful imprisonment, malicious prosecution and seduction.
  • Petitions for divorce, nullification of marriage or separation of spouses.
  • Claims concerning the validity of a will.
  • A claim in which specific performance is sought without an alternative claim for payment of damages, except in the case of a claim for rendering an account or transferring movable property and disputes arising out of tenancy agreements not exceeding Ug Shs 10,000,000 in value.


Who may Institute a Claim?

According to the SCP Rules only a natural person may institute an action in court, but a body corporate may become a party to an action as a defendant.


Against whom may a claim be instituted?

A suit may be instituted against a natural person or a body corporate.


What amount can be claimed?

Any amount not exceeding Ug. Shs. 10,000,000. If your claim exceeds Ug. Shs. 10,000,000 in value, you can institute a claim for a lesser amount in order to pursue your case under the small claims procedure.


Is one compelled to institute a Claim in the SCP Court?

No. You have a choice to institute your claim in the SCP court or in any other competent court. However, bringing your claim to the general court will take more time since the procedures are more complicated than in the SCP court and you will probably have to hire an advocate to assist you.


Is legal representation allowed?

No. Legal representation by an advocate is not allowed under SCP. However, at your own cost, you may obtain legal advice from an advocate before using the SCP. Clerks of the court will assist you free of charge.


How do you Institute a Claim?

  • Contact the opposing party (the person against whom you are instituting a claim) with a request to satisfy your claim. This may be done through a face to face verbal demand or a telephone call.
  • If the opposing party does not comply with your verbal request, address a written demand to him or her, setting out the particulars of the facts on which your claim is based, and the amount of the in accordance with schedule I of the SCP Rules.
  • Deliver the demand notice by hand to the opposing party.
  • If after 14 days the opposing party does not respond to the demand notice, report in person to the clerk of the SCP at your local court, with your proof that the demand notice was delivered to the opposing party.
  • Take along any contract, document or other proof upon which your claim is based or that has a bearing on your claim.
  • Take the full name and address (home and business address if known) and telephone contacts of the opposing party


What are the duties of the Clerk of the Court?

  • S/he will help you to fill the claim form under schedule 2 and will prepare the summons according to the schedule
  • S/he will inform you of the hearing date.
  • S/he will endorse the claim form and summons and hand them over to you for service on the opposing party.