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East African Judges Conference Focuses on Uniform Legal Practices

east african judges conference focuses on uniform legal practices
east african judges conference focuses on uniform legal practices

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During the 20th Annual Conference of the East African Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association (EAMJA), President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni encouraged judges and magistrates from East African Community member states to establish uniform standards and best practices. The President highlighted shared social and cultural bonds and addressed common challenges faced by regional judiciaries, including corruption, delayed judgments, prolonged adjournments, high litigation costs, and foreign language rulings.

Delivering the President’s remarks, Vice President Retired Jessica Alupo stressed three critical areas: facilitating effective access to justice, expediting judgments to address case backlogs, and fortifying public trust in the judiciary. The President emphasized transparency, technology integration, corruption prevention, and reduced litigation costs to foster trust in East African judiciaries.

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Chief Justice of Uganda Alfonse Owiny-Dollo Chigamoy urged member states to provide opportunities for lawyers from other countries, supporting their practice in Uganda. He emphasized addressing case backlog, corruption, dispensing Environmental and Banking Justice, and integrating Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms.

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Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Norbert Mao cautioned against antiquated practices hindering justice delivery and stressed the need for reevaluation to align with present-day societal needs. He emphasized transparency in the face of heightened visibility through social media and public scrutiny of judicial officers.

EAMJA President John Eudes Keitirima highlighted the importance of robust, enforceable laws and effective judiciaries for socio-economic development. He called for clear, non-ambiguous laws ensuring equality and fair treatment. Keitirima advocated for adequate funding to empower judiciaries in their transformational roles.

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The conference, attended by over 500 judicial officers from the East African Community, featured distinguished dignitaries from South Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya, and the East African Court of Justice. Notable attendees included Deputy Chief Justice of Kenya Lady Justice Philomena Mwilu, former Chief Justice of Uganda (Emeritus) Bert Magunda Katureebe, and President of the East African Court of Justice Nestor Kayobera.