Judiciary Announces Fresh COVID-19 SOPs As Officials Contract Virus, Court Hearings Suspended Immediately For 42 Days

Judiciary Announces Fresh COVID-19 SOPs As Officials Contract Virus, Court Hearings Suspended Immediately For 42 Days

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By Spy Uganda 

After HE.Yoweri Kaguta Museveni last night announced 42 days-lockdown, the third arm of government-Judiciary has also issued fresh operational guidelines in regard to those issued by the president and the Ministry of Health.

According to the statement issued by the Judiciary seen by TheSpy Uganda; with immediate effect, all courts and departments are directed to immediately scale down operations to 30% physical presence and ensure that only critical staff remain to attend to the Court/office business on a daily basis.

Other Guidelines Are As Follows; 

2. The Heads of Courts and Departments should immediately work out a duty Rota by which Staff shall work in rotation until further directions are issued. For the Courts the duty Rota must include a Judicial Officer and very essential support staff.

3. All Court Registries must remain open to allow filing of cases.

4. Subject to the duty Rota all Judicial and Support Staff shall work from home in their respective jurisdictions and shall be available for duty on call.

Hearing Of Cases

5. All Court hearings and appearances are hereby suspended for the period of 42 days with effect from 7th June 2021. For cases at the stage of submissions, the respective Courts may advise the counsel/parties to file written submissions through email addresses provided by the Court.

6. All execution proceedings and processes are hereby suspended for the same period of 42 days.

7. Only urgent matters will be heard during the 42 days.

8. Judicial officers handling urgent business must operate in Court Halls or open spaces at the Courts. Whenever practicable virtual hearing of cases should be adhered to including insisting on written submissions, use of e-mail, on-line delivery of judgments and audio-visual hearings and other modes of contactless communication.

9. Judicial Officers presiding over urgent matters should ensure that only the must attend parties actually attend Court.

10.All Judicial Officers with pending judgments and rulings must utilize these 42 days to write and deliver them online.

Temporary Closure of the Anti-Corruption Division

11. The Anti-Corruption Division is temporarily closed up to Friday 18th June 2021.

Urgent matters for plea taking will be handled at Buganda Road Chief Magistrates’ Court.

In the same vein, hearing of election petitions has also been suspended, Judiciary says; Hearing of all Parliamentary and Local Council election petitions will commence after 42 days.”

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