Principal Judge Dr. Flavian Zeija has issued a directive to High Court Judge Stephen Mubiru, instructing him to refrain from hearing fresh cases until he resolves a substantial backlog of 170 pending judgments and rulings before him.
Zeija says the decision follows a High Court Performance Review retreat he convened for heads of High Court divisions and the Case Backlog Management Committee between November 23 and 24 at the Golf View Hotel in Entebbe.
“During the retreat, I informed Heads of High Court Divisions and Circuits that my office was receiving an alarming number of complaints from litigants and Advocates against delayed judgements and rulings. It was resolved that I write to all judges with pending judgements giving them specific deadlines to write and deliver those pending judgments and ruling,” Zeija writes in his December 01 letter to Mubiru.
The Principal Judge highlighted that, as of November 22, Justice Mubiru holds the highest number of undelivered rulings (170).
Citing Section 20 (1) of the Judicature Act Cap 13, Zeija’s directive stipulates that effective December 05, 2023, Justice Mubiru’s workload at the High Court Commercial Division is restricted exclusively to addressing the existing backlog of pending judgments and rulings. The Principal Judge has set a deadline of 60 days for Justice Mubiru to clear the pending cases.
“During this period you are further directed not to hear any case or be allocated any new files until a satisfactory report has been availed to this office indicating that you have written and delivered all pending judgments and rulings,” Zeija wrote.
The move comes against the backdrop of a staggering backlog within the judiciary, with current statistics revealing a total of 43,617 cases lingering in the system for an extended period.