KCCA Strengthens Local Justice System with Induction of 25 Local Council Court Members

Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has taken significant steps to reinforce the local justice system in Kampala. They have inducted 25 local council court members from the city’s five divisions, with the goal of improving access to justice for all residents.

These court members were formally sworn in during a ceremony held at Fairway Hotel, presided over by Chief Magistrate Rehema Nassozi.

Local council courts, established under the Local Council Courts Act of 2006, play a vital role in providing justice within the community. According to the law, each of Kampala’s five divisions should have five members on its local council court, with a focus on gender balance.

The Lord Mayor of Kampala, Erias Lukwago, was present at the induction ceremony and delivered a passionate speech. He stressed the importance of legal knowledge for the newly sworn-in court members, emphasizing that they needed to educate themselves about Uganda’s existing laws.

Lukwago said, “You must be well-grounded in matters of law. Even though you are not lawyers, there is no way you can administer justice if you are not knowledgeable about the law.”

He also encouraged the court members to familiarize themselves with the principles of equity, as these principles would guide them in their roles. Lukwago highlighted that equity and principles of justice were the foundation of remedies in their jurisdiction.

The Mayor of Kampala Central Division, Uhuru Salim, expressed optimism about the impact of these local council courts in delivering justice at the community level. He recognized the significance of decentralizing justice administration to bring it closer to the people.

The newly appointed court members include individuals from various divisions of Kampala, and they are expected to serve until 2026 when the current political term ends.

The composition of these local council courts, as per “The Local Council Courts Act, 2006,” includes at least two women members, in line with the Constitution’s provisions.

Local council courts in Uganda have been established as part of the broader decentralization of power. They possess administrative, legislative, and judicial powers on behalf of the central government, operating at the village, parish, and sub-county levels.

These local council courts have a range of powers, including issuing orders for reconciliation, declarations, compensation, restitution, costs, apologies, attachment and sale, and imposing fines, community service, or other penalties for bye-law or ordinance infringements. Chief Magistrates oversee these courts to ensure efficient and fair justice administration at the grassroots level.