The Principal Judge, Dr. Flavian Zeija has assigned 32 Judges to expedite the handling of 155 Parliamentary and Local Council Election Petitions in the different High Court Circuits across the country.
In a statement released on Tuesday morning, Mbale High Court Circuit will have the highest number of Judges, six, to handle 31 election petitions. Jinja Circuit and Civil Division follow with each having four Judges.
Hearing of the Parliamentary Election Petitions will kick-off on August 16 and the parties in the matters will be notified when to appear at various Courts by way of hearing notices.
The election petitions arise from the January 14, 2021 general elections.
On 3rd August, the Chief Justice, Alfonse Chigamony Owiny – Dollo, issued revised contingency measures and guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during the hearing of election petitions.
They include; The hearing of petitions shall commence on 16th August 2021, only parties to the petitions, advocates, and witnesses specifically summoned shall attend court and that all courts shall, where possible establish a temporary separate space at the court as a waiting place with social distance for the parties whose petition hearing may not be on going at the time.
Other measures include; The sitting positions in Court halls shall be conspicuously demarcated to observe social distance, the petitions shall be cause-listed for specific times, one after the other to avoid crowds at Courts, where the parties and the advocates in a single election petition exceed 10 in number, the trial judge shall use Audio-Visual facilities where it exists or use open space where possible, the media interested in covering the petitions shall be accredited and guided by the Registrar of the specific Court in consultation with the Public Relations Officer and all parties, lawyers, witnesses and journalists attending Court must observe SOPs on mitigation of spread of COVID 19 as set by Ministry of Health.