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Major achievements for the JSC
The following were the achievements registered by the JSC:
I. Recruitment of Judicial Officers (Judges, Registrars and Magistrates)
The Commission advertised posts 37 posts for Grade 1 magistrates, 5 posts for Justices of the Supreme court, 8 posts for Justices for Court of Appeal and 5 posts for High court Judges.
The adverts for Judges were public, in newspapers and it is the first time this is being done to ensure transparency and equal opportunity.
- 43 Grade 1 magistrates were recruited.
- 5 vacant posts remain unfilled at the Supreme Court.
- 8 vacant posts remain unfilled at the Court of Appeal.
- At least 250 public complaints against judicial officers cleared though many are still pending.
This backlog is to be cleared now that the commission is in place.
The shortfall in deployment of judicial officers is critical.
ii. Administrative and Human Resource Support
In order for the above recruitments to take place, six job adverts were run, seven commission meetings were facilitated for the short listing and ten recruitment sessions were held. In addition to the above, the Commission produced and launched a Clients' Service Charter. This document is a social contract by JSC explaining the services it offers to its clients.
An HIV/AIDS workshop was held, staff were facilitated to attend conferences abroad and 500 copies of the Annual Report 2012/13 were printed and distributed.
With the available resources with support from JLOS, JSC can only conduct civic education in 4 prisons against the 200 such facilities across the country; visit 40 sub counties against the 1,600 (and still increasing) sub counties and hold about 60 radio talk shows per year.
iii. Civic Education
The JSC is mandated to prepare and implement programmes for education and dissemination of information to Judicial Officers and the public about the law and administration of Justice in Uganda.
In this regard, radio talk shows were held in various regional centres. Further still, TV talk show were conducted. These talk shows aim at creation of awareness among the masses on issues relating to administration of justice.
Additionally, sub county workshops (10 per district) were held in the districts of Mityana, Kiruhura, Lamwo and Ibanda. Prison inmates' sensitisation programs were held in Kabale, Bushenyi, Jinja and Tororo and many more are ongoing. District Civic education programs were also held in Kalangala, Rakai, Serere and Katakwi districts, targeting the district leadership there.
These workshops which are also aimed at creating awareness targeting the community leaders. The Inadequacy in the resource envelope cannot allow for the involvement of the general public.
The Citizen's Handbook was translated to Runyakitara. 185 copies were printed in Luganda, and 1,300 copies were printed in English and disseminated. The cost of pre-printing plates for the Luganda version was higher than expected and it caused a reduction in the planned copies. This handbook has also been translated and printed in Ng'Karimojong and Ateso to reach a wider audience. It has also been translated to Swahili. This publication is a simplified version of the various laws of Uganda. It is meant to increase the general public awareness of the law and the repercussions of breaking the law.
Administrative support was provided in terms of timely payment of salaries, provision of other welfare benefits and utilities; payment internet services; maintaining the IFMS; subscription to 3 bodies (AAPAM, ESAAG, AAPComs), maintenance of office equipment, and provision of car tyres, batteries, lubricants and fuels.
There is need to lobby for the inclusion of civic education in the different curricula of learning institutions.
There is also need to provide funds for the purchase of civic education audio and visual tools (projectors, flip chart stands and white screens).
iv. Public Complaints System (PCS)
In regard to the mandate of receiving and processing peoples' complaints, the Commission had several public cases investigated and over 120 disciplinary cases disposed of. There was case backlog due to the absence of a commission but since February 2012, many cases have been disposed of.
Suggestion boxes and plaques were procured and installed at the various sub counties that lacked this facility. These boxes act as a link between the general public and JSC. The Public Complaints system has also been automated which has greatly eased the recording and tracking of complaints at the Commission. This intervention will cause easy retrieval of complaints for that portion of the public that will have access to computers.
The commission has also installed a Toll Free line number 0800 100 222 and this has helped ease information flow to the commission.
JSC has also participated in the anti corruption campaign holding 13 anti-corruption Barazas, printing fliers and disseminating them.
v. Inspection and Monitoring and evaluation of activity performance
In order to assess the impact of the various activities JSC is mandated to undertake, the Commission carries out impact assessment trips, monitoring and evaluations as well as various inspections.
Impact assessment trips and M&E trips were undertaken in the western, northern, eastern and central regions. Additionally court inspection trips were carried out in the period under review. The court inspections revealed delays in judgments, chronic absenteeism, and non-attendance to civil cases, poor time management and unethical conduct as key problems in the courts.
Deputy R/PRI in a session with local leaders
These trips revealed an increment in the levels of public awareness reflected by the rise in the number of reported complaints and use of suggestion boxes. However, there is need carry out a comprehensive survey to determine the impact JSC activities have on its target population and also assess the relevance of its current programmes.
vi. Development Expenditure
In the year under review, JSC purchased the following capital items:
A). Assorted furniture (4 Carpets, 2 Executive tables, 2 Executive Desks, 4 Visitors chairs, 3 Coat hangers, 1 Side board, 1 Executive office chair, 1 Secretarial Chair.
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