October 03, 2023

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Commercial Justice Reform

Mercy Kainobwisho, Registrar General - Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) Mercy Kainobwisho, Registrar General - Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB)

The Sub-programme continues to facilitate an enabling environment for productivity, investment, and competitiveness through enhancing efficiency in settling of commercial disputes by supporting an efficient legal framework and thereby reducing the ease of doing business. In the recently released Doing Business Report 2020, Uganda registered an improvement in the ease of doing business index to 60 from 56.94. The country’s index is still higher than the Sub-Saharan African region average which is at 51.61. The index of the efficiency of the legal framework remained at 3.8 and is expected to improve as levels of automation increase in the Case Management System. Uganda’s index ranks highest in the EAC region.


Access to commercial laws

The rule of law regulates economic activity, defines, and affirms rights and obligations, therefore clarifying to investors the laws and institutional environment for doing business. An efficient and effective justice delivery system is fundamental for poverty reduction and inclusive growth. Critical legislation have been identified for immediate review and reform in line with commercial justice needs for example Land Valuation Law, and the UNRA Act. There are efforts to address the inaccessibility of commercial laws, complicated rules and procedures in commercial justice, non-enforcement of Commercial laws as well as the need to review of legislation and promote business education.


Business Registries

Strategies were implemented to enhance the efficiency of all the business registries, including measures to support integration for better communication between the various registries. The average time taken to register a business improved to 3 hours as well as the level of automation of business registries at 45%. The proportion of Ugandans with National ID increased significantly from 45.2% to 64.3%. The Electronic Chattels Registry (Secured Moveable Properties Registry) was established and is fully operational. However there remains the challenge of ill-equipped Registries, manual work processes in Business registries, limited Staff capacity in e-registry, limited Stakeholder awareness on registration process. The sub-programme must therefore strengthen commercial and civil registries; promote automation and integration of electronic registries to facilitate quick information sharing and collaboration.


Commercial and land dispute resolution processes and institutions

Interventions to revive the Commercial Court as a Centre for Excellence in dispute resolution and strengthen the capacity and operations of the other commercial justice institutions to provide fast and effective dispute resolution in all specialized areas and in ADR must be undertaken. There remains limited roll out of Mediation, small claims procedure and other new initiatives. The sub-programme too must continue to review rules and procedures that delay case and enhance efficacy of Case management.

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Last modified on Saturday, 22 July 2023 16:46