The efficacy of local council courts in the administration of justice: a case study of nansana municipality-wakiso district
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This research assessed the “Efficacy of Local Council Courts in Administration of Justice; A Case Study of Nansana Municipality - Wakiso District”. In Uganda the Local Council Courts were established to bring justice closer to the people. In 2006 the Local Council Courts Act was enacted to define the jurisdictional powers and procedures for the established Courts and to provide for other related matters. In 2007 the Local Councils Courts (Regulations) were issued to operationalize the Local Councils Courts in their functions. The LCC elections in Uganda were last held was in 1996 and the office bearers were legally in office until the expiration of their term in 2001. From 2001 and the inception of the LCCA in 2006, no elections of LCCs were conducted up to 2018, therefore in absence of the elected leaders; the experiences, challenges, and people's perception in these LCCs is not very clear. Due to time constraints and resources this research was conducted in Nansana Municipality a town in the Central Region of Uganda, located in the Wakiso District with a rich topography of both urban and rural setting and densely populated. Using mixed methods of research, the study findings were that LCCs are cost effective, accessible and flexible, speedy delivery of judgments and that they promote mediation and reconciliation. It was also established in the findings that the disputes handled by the LCCs among others include land wrangles, rent defaulters, family issues, enforcement of contracts, assaults and petty thefts and some criminal cases involving children such as actual bodily harm, criminal trespass and malicious damage to property. The research findings further revealed that access to justice in the LCCs was faced by a number of challenges such as lack of funding which exposed them to corruption and acceptance of gifts and facilitation that erode their impartiality, lack of stationary such as pens and papers to do the work, charging of exorbitant fees among others. The research suggested some recommendations to address the faced challenges such as; sensitizing the general public and members of the courts the court fees payable for the various subject matters; through displayed the fees payable on the court notice board, doors/premises, judiciary website and issuance of brochures on the same to the general public, ensuring empowerment through training, capacity building and massive sensitization of the office bearers in the LCCs structures, ensuring revision and simplification by translation into local languages of existing legislation and laws on the LCCs and their mandates so as to equip both the populace and the members of these courts with knowledge on the same and to curb the problem of lack of awareness of the provisions of the law and procedures and increasing the budget for LCCs to ensure fulfillment of their mandate and to curb bribery and corruption and lack of stationary in these courts among others.