President Yoweri Museveni has appointed five new justices to the Supreme Court and seven justices to the Court of Appeal, which doubles as the Constitutional Court.
According to a press release issued by Presidential Press Secretary Linda Nabusayi, the names of those appointed have been forwarded to Parliament for approval as demanded by the constitution.
Those appointed to the Supreme Court include; Justice Augustine Nshimye, Justice Faith Mwondha, Justice Rubby Aweri Opio, Justice Eldad Mwangusya, and Prof. Lillian Tibatemwa. All these five appointees were previously Justices of the Court of Appeal.
The new appointees to the Constitutional Court include; Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, Justice Paul Mugamba, Justice Simon Byabakama, Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, Justice Helen Obura, Justice Elizabeth Musoke and Mr. Cheborion Barishaki.
Out of the seven appointees to the Court of Appeal, it is only Mr Cheborion who has come from outside the Judiciary circles. He was previously the director civil litigation in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs..The remaining six appointees were formerly judges of the High Court.
The appointment of five justices to the Supreme Court comes at a time when there was no coram, as four Acting justices (Benjamin Odoki, John Wilson Tsekooko, Christine Kitumba and Galdino Okello) were exiting after their two-year contracts ended recently.
This now brings the total number of Supreme Court judges to nine, including Chief Justice Bart Katureebe. However, the High Court has not gained as six justices have been promoted leaving a big vacuum. The high court judges are now 43 and yet the approved structure is 82.