Court annexed mediation and case backlog reduction:
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This thesis maps the present situation of court-connected mediation in Uganda. Court Annexed Mediation is undertaken by court accredited mediators and judge-led mediation undertaken by a judge. It traces the growth and development of Court Annexed Mediation (CAM) in Uganda; investigates the factors leading to chronic case backlog at the Commercial Court and critiques relevant literature on the subject. In addition, this research assesses the performance of the Commercial Court in implementing court annexed mediation since its introduction. It further reviews the legal and regulatory framework governing court annexed mediation and identifies the hurdles and the benefits of court-connected mediation in Uganda. It examines in this context theories of mediation, justice and case management. In collecting data, both qualitative and quantitative research methods were used. The main findings of this study were that the use of mediation has been driven by its utility in reducing court backlogs; increasing knowledge of the benefits of mediation; leadership by the judiciary, professional associations and government; training and exposure; and traditional practices of mediation. The findings also identified the main challenges facing CAM as resistance from some stake holders like advocates, flexibility in the rules that makes their implementation quite difficult. It was also established that several advocates are still inclined to the adversarial approach of litigation and are reluctant to embrace new techniques like CAM. Funding of mediators and other judicial officers are among the technical challenges that were identified as critical in performance and success of CAM. The research concluded that CAM has been very helpful in reducing case backlog. While it was admitted that it still faces challenges here and there, there has been a significant decline in case backlog since the introduction of CAM. No wonder that there is a noticeable chorus among different stake holders calling for its extension to all levels of the judiciary. Several recommendations were made and key among these were that, funding for judicial officers should be improved, the national budgetary allocation should be raised significantly, there is need to establish a scheme from which mediators are paid and there is need to create deliberate and concerted efforts to train judicial officers and mediators especially in technical areas like insurance, taxation and international commercial disputes.