Stop summoning Judicial officers -Judiciary tells Police

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Fighting for independence: Court Hammer; File Photo

The judiciary has told police to desist from the practice of summoning judicial officers on matters regarding court decisions.

The new development follows an incident reported in The New Vision of 11th February 2020 titled; “Magistrate summoned over controversial land eviction order” in which it is stated that the police summoned a magistrate of Hoima Magistrates Court in relation to a decision he made in a case of land eviction.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Ag. Chief Registrar of the judiciary Mr. Tom Chemtai advised the Director Criminal Investigations that it is irregular for the police to summon a magistrate over a court decision.

“The police cannot summon judicial officers to explain how thay handle court cases” Mr. Chemtai said. “The police can only seek clarification from court about a decision made in any matter” He added.

Article 128(1) of the constitution of Uganda provides that in exercise of judicial power, the courts shall be independent and shall not be subject to the control or direction of any person or authority.

The statement quoted Clause (4) of the same provision: “a person exercising judicial power shall not be liable to any action or suit for any act or omission by that person in the exercise of judicial power”

He however advised that anyone dissatisfied with a court decision can appeal to a higher court. He said court users with complaints against the conduct of any judicial officer can petition the Inspector of Courts, the Chief Registrar, or Judicial Service Commission for proper investigations, and action taken against errant officers.

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