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You Have No Powers To Summon Judicial Officers- Court Tells Police

Judiciary, which is the third arm of Government after Executive and Legislature has today morning warned the Uganda police that they have no powers to summon any judicial officer in matters related to issuing court orders, Spyreports has exclusively established.

According to the document that was issued by Chief Register of high court Tom Chemutai, he instructed police never to summon any judicial officer without the guidance of Judiciary. Insiders in Judiciary say, Chemutai issued a warning after police issued summons to Hoima Chief Magistrate after issuing land eviction order.

“Judiciary got involved after an article was published in one of the daily news papers titled “Magistrate summoned over controversial land eviction orders,” says an officer from Judiciary.

Insiders in Judiciary say the newspaper article refers to a Police investigation relating to an alleged illegal eviction and malicious damage to property arising from Civil Suit No. 07/2015 in the Hoima Chief Magistrates’ Court, where Police recently summoned a Magistrate in the
matter to record a statement in relation to the investigations.

Article 128(1) of the Constitution of Uganda provides that “in exercise of judicial
power the Courts shall be independent and shall not be subject to the control or direction of any person or authority”. Clause (4) of the Article provides that “a person exercising judicial power shall not be liable to any action or suit for any act or omission by that person in the exercise of judicial power”.

Chemutai has, however, advised that anyone dissatisfied with court decision can appeal to a higher court.

“Court users with complaints against the conduct of any Judicial Officer can petition
the Inspectorate of Courts, the Chief Registrar, or Judicial Service Commission for
proper investigations to be conducted and appropriate action taken, says Chemutai.

The Chief Registrar, Tom Chemutai, has since advised the Director Criminal Investigations that it is irregular for the Police to summon a Magistrate over a court decision.

“The Police cannot summon Judicial Officers to explain how they handle court cases,”
said Chemutai,” adding that Police can only seek clarification from Court
about a decision made in any matter.

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