Lawyer salary

Lawyer Challenges Administration of Justice Provisions :: Uganda Radionetwork

“That the law providing pension benefits with huge packages or more packages for members of the upper judiciary to the exclusion of those of the lower judiciary is discriminatory and connotes a selfishness that this court should not be perceived as operationalizing in the same way,” reads Kalali’s affidavit in support of the petition.

City attorney Steven Kalali has petitioned the Constitutional Court to challenge certain provisions of the recently enacted Judicial Administration Act, claiming that they discriminate against certain magistrates as well as the rest of civil servants.

The Judicial Administration Act came into effect on June 19, 2020 after the President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, gave his assent to it. The law aims to strengthen the judiciary as an independent body of government. The law provides for the continued payment of the monthly salary of a retired chief justice and his assistant in addition to receiving a lump sum equivalent to 2.4% of his annual salary multiplied by five and the total number of years passed into service.

According to the provisions of the same Act, retired judges of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, Chief Justice and High Court Judges will continue to receive 80% of their salary once they reach their respective mandatory retirement age. They will also receive a lump sum retirement benefit equal to 2.4% of their annual salary multiplied by five and their years of service.

They will also be entitled to state security, chauffeur-driven cars, and annual medical and housing allowances. The law excludes clerks and magistrates from the provision of security, cars, medical allowances and housing despite the fact that they will continue to earn their monthly salary for life.

Now, in his petition to the Constitutional Court on Monday, Kalali argues that some of the provisions of the Judiciary Act discriminate against civil servants in different government entities who are not entitled to the same emoluments upon retirement. What Kalali says is unconstitutional.

He also notes that the law is also discriminatory in nature as it only favors senior judicial officers, leaving out junior officers when it comes to things like funeral expenses and other entitlements.

“That the law providing pension benefits with huge packages or more packages for members of the upper judiciary to the exclusion of those of the lower judiciary is discriminatory and connotes a selfishness that this court should not be perceived as operationalizing in the same way,” reads Kalali’s affidavit in support of the petition.

He argues that unless the challenged provisions of the law are struck down, they are likely to cause or promote disrespect among public officials, including police officers, and health workers because of discriminatory privileges.

//Cue in: “We all know

Cue out: … Magistrates and Clerks,”//

The constitutional court has already summoned the attorney general, who is listed as the sole defendant to the petition, to file his defense within 15 days before the case can be assigned to a five-judge panel for hearing.