BUSHENYI: Hundreds of people turned up for Court Open Day organised by the Bushenyi Chief Magistrates Court on Monday.
The Chief Justice, Bart M. Katureebe, presided over the event at the Bushenyi District Administration ground. It was also attended by the Principal Judge, Dr. Yorokamu Bamwine.
The event celebrated under the theme, *Access to justice and building public trust* drew participants from different Justice, Law and Order Sector as well as civic leaders from greater Bushenyi.
The Chief Justice explained that part of the reasons for holding open days is to explain to court users the different court processes.He engaged members of public for more than two hours in a question and answer session.
During a meeting with court staff, the Chief Justice said the administration of justice demands for professional courtesy. “How we handle people who come to us affects public perception of our services,” he said.
He cautioned the officers who comprised Judicial Officers, advocates, court staff, against taking bribes. “As officers of court, if you take a bribe you are doing a disservice in the access to justice,” he said.
The Chief Justice also quoted an access to justice report that showed that a dismal 5% of the population have access to the formal justice system. He said it was important those who access the system to trust it.
This call was re-echoed by Dr. Bamwine, who urged court officers to be agents of change. “The small things we do amount to something big.”
During the plenary, it was suggested that Judiciary considers decentralising specialised courts as a way of bringing services closer to the people.
Many stakeholders, including the Mbarara Senior Resident Judge, Dr Flavian Zeija, and the Bushenyi District Chairman, Mr. Jaffer Basajabalaba, called for the creation of a High Court Circuit in the area.
Mr. Basajabalaba said the district had already earmarked land in the town to donate to the Judiciary for the construction of a High Court.
Others in attendance were Mbarara Resident Judge, Joyce Kavuma; Buhweju Constituency MP, Francis Mwijukye; Mbarara Deputy Registrar, Moses Angualia; Bushenyi Ag. Chief Magistrate, Charles Yeteise and scores of Magistrates G1s.