Debate On Judiciary Bill Postponed

Parliament has further postponed debate on the Administration of the Judiciary Bill, 2018.

This is after Members of Parliament noted that they need more time to read the report of the Legal and Parliamentary affairs about the Bill.

Government tabled the Bill in May 2018 and referred it to the legal committee for further scrutiny.  The committee presented its report in January 2019.   

MPs noted that the committee presented its report a year ago and that they, therefore, need to refresh their minds on the issues raised by the committee and also provisions of the Bill.   

The committee report has never been debated because the government had on several occasions asked for extra time to conclude consultations on the Bill. 

In December, the then Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana asked for additional two months to conclude consultations on a few “sticky issues” in the Bill. He however never disclosed the sticky issues.  

However, when the Bill was scheduled on the Order Paper on Wednesday, debate was further postponed, because MPs were not ready. 

The MPs opposed debating the report after the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu moved that the House adopts the motion for the Bill to be read for the second time for debate to commence.

On Wednesday Kamuntu told the House that the government is now ready to proceed with the Bill because consensus has been reached among the key stakeholders.

The Speaker Rebecca Kadaga asked the legal committee chairperson, Jacob Oboth him to present highlights of the report and later be debated by MPs.

However, Kumi Municipality MP, Silas Aogon said that the House should debate the report after MPs have internalized its content. 

Bugweri County MP, Abdu Katuntu says that the public thinks parliament is deliberately delaying the enactment of the Bill.

Oboth requested the MPs to debate the report since the committee will next week start regional consultations on the opposition-backed Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2019. 

However, Budadiri West MP, Nathan Nandala Mafabi noted that the committee needs to be around during the debate on its report because there are some clauses that he thinks must be amended.

Opposition Chief Whip, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda insisted that the House should debate the report because there is no guarantee that MPs will read it or turn up the next time the matter is on the Order Paper.

Kadaga ruled that the committee should postpone its regional consultations so that the House can debate on its report on the Judiciary Bill.  

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Abitegeka Gerald

The News Editor ,Reporter at Kagadi Kibaale community Radio

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