Judicial officers want court proceedings to be conducted in local dialects in order to directly involve litigants and speed up the administration of justice.
This has been proposed at a consultative meeting at Kabira Country club held by the Law Reform Commission to seek the Judges’ views on the proposed amendments in the criminal and civil procedural laws.
The Judges also debated on the relevance of court assessors in criminal trials whose opinion is not biding to them yet they have to speed so much time summarizing the evidence to them and yet their absence can lead to an adjournment.
They also sought a review in plea committal proceedings where capital offenders are denied access to the judge even when they confess to the crimes on arrest and another review on juvenile offenders who face trail before the High court yet they are referred to magistrates for sentencing upon conviction.
The judges said all these delays lead to untold backlog, congestion in prisons, loss of evidence and memories and would be witnesses in addition to loss of confidence in the judicial system.
Among other proposed amendments is the abolition of un-sworn evidence where an accused person chooses to give his defense without taking oath. The said proposed amendments await government approval.
By Christine Nabatanzi