Administrative Structure

Key to the performance of the Judiciary is the efficiency with which it is managed. Managerial efficiency depends upon appropriate organization structure, sufficient qualified and motivated human resource, effective systems and procedures, and adequate infrastructure and equipment.

The Chief Justice is responsible for the administration and supervision of all courts in Uganda, including those that do not administratively fall within the Judiciary. The Deputy Chief Justice is the head of the Court of Appeal/Constitutional Court.

The Principal Judge manages the High Court, including the decentralized up-country High Court stations, and is further responsible for the Magistrates Courts. The High Court is divided into seven Divisions, including the Civil, Criminal, Commercial, Land, Family, Anti-Corruption and International Crimes each headed by a High Court Judge. All of these managers also adjudicate cases within their respective jurisdictions, in addition to fulfilling their management and policy-making responsibilities.

The Chief Registrar who is assisted by a management team of Registrars heads the technical branch consisting of judicial activities of the organization. Registrars are ordinarily drawn from the cadres of Magistrates in the lower Judiciary. They include Registrars of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the High Court, Research and Training, the Inspector of Courts, Registrar Planning and Development, and Deputy and Assistant Registrars. Most of these managers are responsible for adjudicating cases within their respective jurisdictions, and as of 31/12/2002, their powers and jurisdiction was increased. Some managerial functions are delegated to committees composed of members of the Judiciary management.

The Secretary to Judiciary/Permanent Secretary oversees the Administration and Finance Department. The Finance and Administration Department is a support department for the Judiciary for general administration and management of human and financial resources as well as maintenance and control of assets. 

The Secretary to Judiciary/Permanent Secretary the accounting officer is appointed by the Public Service Commission of the Ministry of Public Service. He/she reports directly to the Chief Justice while at the same time has close consultations and linkage with the Ministry of Public Service. The Secretary to Judiciary/Permanent Secretary is supported by the Under Secretary and divisional/unit heads such as Commissioner Technical Services, Commissioner Human Resource Officer; Assistant Commissioner - Accounts, Principal Information Technology Officer and Principal Asst. Secretary. Thus there is in effect a split between management of judicial staff and administrative staff, even though both sets of staff work on many of the same activities on a day-to-day basis.

Some Judges exercise substantial influence in certain areas by virtue of their appointment to establish or adhoc committees, such as the Judicial Training Committee, the Justice Law and Order Sector Integrity Committee, and the IT/Law Reporting Subcommittee, among others. Some Judges are appointed to become Chairs of Commissions of Inquiry or other Commissions or Committees that are external to the Judiciary. Resident High Court Judges in upcountry court stations may but are not required to supervise subordinate courts within their jurisdictions. Deputy Registrars in up-country Court stations are generally in charge of the management of the Resident High Court stations. Chief Magistrates are both the judicial and administrative managers of their court stations (except where Deputy Registrars are posted); including the subordinate courts within their chief magisterial areas.