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Chief Justice, Min. Mao awarded Masters Degrees in ADR

The Chief Justice Alifonse Owiny Dollo has been awarded a masters degree in  dispute resolution and certificate in international Commercial Arbitration by the Caruso School of law Pepperdine University based in Malibu California in the United States of America.

Others awarded the same are Deputy Chief Justice, Richard Buteera, Supreme Court Justice Mike Chibita, Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Norbert Mao,  Justice Geoffrey Kiryabwire,  Justice Richard Wabwire Wejuli,  justice Paul Wolimbwa Gadenya and former Uganda Law Society President Francis Gimara.

Commenting on the awards, Pius Bigirimana the Judiciary Permanent secretary said that the said milestone provides the Judiciary with significant opportunity to contemplate on the challenges confronting  the Judiciary especially with the increasing numbers of cases registered in recent years.

“During the opening of the new law year 2024, the chief justice revealed that the Judiciary by  2022,recorded  23958 new cases and by 2023, this number had surged to 269595 reflecting a notable increase of 29997 cases within a single year” Bigirimana noted.
According to Bigirimana, the figures shows that the Judiciary’s resources and Justices is over stretched since it only has 103 judges and justices,78 court Registrars and 476 Magistrates, totaling 758 judicial officers which confers to them a big task of fighting the Increasing case backlog.
“It is my duty to ensure that the Judiciary has necessary resources to fulfill it’s mandate effectively”.

He says that the rise in case registration underscores the urgent need for reformative  approaches in dispute resolution and that the move by judicial officers to study dispute resolution alternative signifies a crucial step towards addressing a new way of resolving disputes outside the court room.”

By  adopting ADR mechanism, such as mediation and arbitration, we can alleviate the burden on our Judiciary while promoting timely and efficient dispute resolution”.

The Ps says that by adopting ADR, they draw inspiration from Ancient justice systems that prioritised mediation and reconciliation as part ways to harmony and sustainable development within communities.

Dr. Sukhsimranjit Singh, the managing Director and Danny Weinstein Dean , the Straus Institute for Dispute resolution said that the graduates were disciplined regardless of their positions and were the first ADR students from the entire African continent.

“Not only did these distinguish leaders complete the requirements of these degrees,but did so with style and distinction”.

The said degrees come at a time when the chief justice is spearheading ADR in Uganda as away of reducing the ever increasing case backlog.

Justice Dollo has in the past  revealed that when he retires, he will be concentrating mainly in ADR which he says is more efficient and timely.

The Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Norbert Mao revealed that his office is currently working on an ADR policy which he will soon table before cabinet for approval to see that ADR becomes another lawful way of resolving disputes in Uganda without necessarily going through courts of law.

Source: Capital Radio