Court issues new rules to fast-track family cases

Monday April 19 2021

This screengrab shows judiciary spokesperson Jameson Karemani speaking at a past event. PHOTO/FILE

By Juliet Kigongo

The Family Division of the High Court has devised means through which they will quickly dispose of cases in a bid to dispose of the huge backlog.
The quick disposal will now be premised on the Civil Procedural Rules of 2019, in which a case has to be heard 28 days from the date of all the pre-trial paper work.

The case will end if lawyers representing the aggrieved party fail to take action and have the matter heard after the prescribed 28 days.
“The Family Division will strictly comply with the provisions of the above rules, and advocates are hereby reminded to take out summons for directions as stipulated in the rules. Otherwise, suits will automatically abate,” reads in part the April 9 memo signed off by the Assistant Registrar, Ms Hellen Ajio, and addressed to all advocates.

Ms Ajio also warned that allocation of files to the respective judges will only be done after the due process is complete.
Under this arrangement, it is expected that the lawyers of the aggrieved party, after all the paper work is filed, do take out summons.
This will be followed by the registrar of the court convening a meeting with the warring parties and agree on some of the triable issues.

Mr Jameson Karemani, the Judiciary spokesperson, yesterday explained the initiative is aimed at rousing up lawyers who have a habit of filing cases on behalf of their clients and never mind following them up for prosecution.
As of January 31, 2017, there were 4,093 pending cases before the Family Court.