Former Chief Justice of Uganda, Bart Katureebe
“I have been involved in the administration of justice in Uganda for a long time as a private legal practitioner, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, a judge and chief Justice of the Republic of Uganda. Our courts are clogged with a huge case backlog for various reasons, including lack of adequate number of judicial officers,” Katureebe commented.
“Cases are taking as much as five years or even more to resolve. This not only denies the litigants the right to have speedy trials and resolution of disputes, but ties up valuable resources from the economy, particularly with regard to commercial justice.
“I have increasingly become convinced that we need to put more emphasis on ADR mechanisms such as mediation, negotiation and arbitration, whereby parties can participate in the quick resolution of their disputes and only go to the formal court system when they must. The Praxis Conflict Centre is born out of this conviction,” said Katureebe.
“We hope to have a team of professional, credible ADR practitioners and provide the necessary facilities to promote alternative dispute resolution. This will be coupled with relevant capacity building and training through lectures, seminars and participatory engagements of various stakeholders to grow this field.”
Sir William Blair and Hefin Rees QC of 3VB Chambers in London will give speeches at the launch event to encourage the further development of ADR and international arbitration within Uganda and East Africa generally. 3VB will help the PCC provide mediation training and other pro bono services through 3VB’s International Advisory & Dispute Resolution Unit (IADRU).
The IADRU focus is complementary to Goal 16 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: peace, justice and strong institutions, including promoting the rule of law and access to justice.
“3VB Chambers’ International Dispute Resolution Unit is very proud to be providing pro bono services to this new international ADR centre in Kampala,” said Rees. “We are committed to helping improve ADR to as wide a community as possible. Africa is in great need of more such centres so that commercial disputes can be resolved more locally. I have a real passion for Uganda, having now visited over 20 times, and will do all I can to help grow this centre for use throughout Uganda. 3VB will be providing help with the training of arbitrators and mediators, to work collaboratively with our Ugandan friends.”
Rees is a leading QC in international arbitration and a practising barrister at the leading commercial set of chambers at 3VB, while Sir William is a leading international arbitrator, and a former High Court Judge in England and Wales, during which time he was Head of the Commercial Court in London.
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