National

Decentralise labour court, govt told

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By EPHRAIM KASOZI

Posted  Thursday, March 13  2014 at  19:02
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Kampala.

Following the approval of judges, labour rights activists have asked the government to expedite the functionality of the Industrial Court so as to guarantee access to justice for workers in the country.

The activists under their umbrella body, Platform for Labour Action, also demanded for the reposition of the court from the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development to the mainstream Judiciary to insure its independence and efficiency.

“We suggest that the Industrial court is decentralised and more courts are set up in different areas as with High Court circuits to cover the country. This shall further enable workers access justice and shall also reduce the risk of backlog,” said Ms Diana Prida, a legal officer with PLA.

Impact
Addressing a Justice Law and Order Sector meeting, Ms Prida said the continued absence of a court handling labour disputes is an injustice to Ugandan workers as well as a violation of their right to access justice.
The demands by the rights activists come hardly a month after the Parliament Appointments Committee cleared the six judges to serve in the High Court.

Two of the approved judges include; Mr Asaph Ntengye Ruhinda, formerly the Chief Registrar of Courts, and Ms Lillian Tumusiime, who were vetted as Chief Judge and Judge of the Industrial Court respectively.

Ms Prida said the absence of a labour court has weakened the authority of labour officers by rendering their decisions redundant due to failure on enforcement mechanism in place.