Justice Owiny wants judges age limit lifted

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DCJ Owiny-Dollo

By Legal Reports

The Deputy Chief of Uganda (DCJ) and Head of both the Court of Appeal and Constitutional Courts, on Friday, suggested to Parliament, that the 65 year age limit imposed by the Constitution on a High Court Judge’s tenure of office be lifted.

The DCJ, Hon. Justice Owiny Dollo, was speaking at a handover ceremony on which Hon. Justice Yorokamu Bamweine officially handed over the reins of the High Court as Principal Judge to Hon. Justice Dr Flavian Zeija.

” Letting a well experienced Judge to retire at 65 is like letting your best surgeon to go home and look after his goats and chickens” the DCJ is quoted as saying in a tweet by the Judiciary, suggesting even at that age, Judges are capable of administering Justice and be of Jurisprudential Value.

Victoria University

The Deputy Chief Justice recommended a 70 year retirement age limit.

” If I were Parliament, I would amend the retirement age of Judges of the High Court to 70″ he suggested.

The Judiciary in Uganda has an under staffing challenge which has led to a huge case backlog effectively undermining one of the core functions of the Judiciary, to dispense Justice without undue delay.

Principal Judge, Dr Bamwine, hands over.

According to Justice Benjamin Kabiito, the spokesperson of the Judicial Service Commission, the Constitutional body mandated by the Constitution to field candidates for Judicial Office, the cause of the under staffing is lack of funding.

” We have the Candidates to fill the existing gaps in the Judiciary but the problem is lack of funding” he says.

The Judiciary currently has 376 vacant positions.

The Chief Justice, barely a week ago, asked the President to expedite the replacement of Judges recently elevated from the Court of Appeal.

”Mr President, having elevated two Justices from the Court of Appeal, we now request you to fill those vacancies,” he said.

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