What you need to know:
The issue: Court premises.
Our view: The Judiciary should erect more of their court buildings such that they stop renting, if at all the claim of being independent is to be actualised. Section 128 (1) of the Constitution calls for the independence of the Judiciary.
About a week ago, the Judiciary announced the relocation of the Anti-Corruption Court to a rented four-storied building on Plot 5 Lourdel Road, Nakasero, from its current location on Mabua Road in Kololo, all in Kampala City.
According to the Chief Registrar, Ms Sarah Langa Siu, the relocation of the court that had spent more than a decade in Kololo was because the new premises offered bigger courtrooms and registries, contrary to the their former premises.
Judiciary’s statistics show that more than Shs10 billion is spent on renting court rooms across the country per year.
Out of the Shs10b, more than Shs6b is spent on renting the appellate courts of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.
The good news is that before this year comes to an end, the appellate courts will shift to their new premises near the Constitutional Square, which combined courts have been taking the biggest part of the rent budget.
This means that the Judiciary will continue paying about Shs4b in rent annually.
Going forward, the Judiciary should erect more of their court buildings such that they stop renting, if at all the claim of being independent is to be actualised.
Section 128 (1) of the Constitution calls for the independence of the Judiciary.
The Article demands that in the exercise of judicial power, the courts shall be independent and shall not be subject to the control or direction of any person or authority.
Sub-section 2 demands that no person or authority shall interfere with the courts or judicial officers in the exercise of their judicial functions.
So the Judiciary cannot exercise its duties independently when its courtrooms are still being rented.
The renting exercise necessitates negotiations with the landlords and friction between the parties is inevitable.
The dilemma will arise on where the landlord will run to in case he sought justice after being aggrieved by the Judiciary.
So to avoid all this and others related incidents that lead to breach of independence, the Judiciary should build its own court premises.