Uganda launches virtual courts to ease hearing of cases

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Uganda on Monday launched virtual courts that will see inmates attended to by judicial officers through video conferencing.

The court will be linked to the prison from where the inmates will hear preliminary stages of their cases before they are called to court physically for trial.

“Primarily, we are going to use the system at the mentioning of the case stage and later we shall expand it to cover other stages,” Solomon Muyita, senior communications officer at Uganda Judiciary, told Xinhua by telephone.

The new system will also enable judicial officers to handle more cases, which will quicken access to justice, Muyita said.

Frank Baine, Uganda Prisons’ spokesperson, said in a statement that the move will also save on the transport costs and security of taking prisoners to court.

He also noted that the inmates would be free in prison instead of being chained every time they go to court.

The video conferencing will first work at Buganda Road Chief Magistrates Court and Luzira Prisons in the capital Kampala before being rolled out to the rest of the country.