Court rules that the mode of payment and funding of the Judiciary is unconstitutional.

On 7th February 2020, Justice Madrama Izama JA/JCC ruled that the mode of payment and funding of the Judiciary was unconstitutional as it was inconsistent with Article 128 (5) (60 and 154 (1) (a) of the Constitution. This decision arises from Krispus Ayena Odongo V Attorney General and the Parliamentary Commission, Constitutional Petition No. 30 of 2017.

The petitioner in this case alleged that the rights of judicial officers under the Constitution were being violated by being paid at a lower rate in comparison to other government employees. That, the Parliament failed to enact a law for the administration of the Judiciary, being an independent organ of the state equal in stature with the Legislature, and the Executive. The petitioner further averred that the Judiciary was not self-accounting and that it should deal directly with the Ministry responsible for finance in relation to its finances.

The learned judge ruled that, the petition on the face of it alleged that a constitutional provision has been violated, however a particular part of the petition disclosed no cause of action and therefore prayers cannot be granted for the same reason.

However, on the justifiable basis of the petition which asserted that the judiciary is independent and shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority, the judge held that; article 128 of the constitution provides for the independence of the judiciary and the ground rule and principles in the operationalization of the independence of the judiciary. It is therefore not imperative for Parliament to enact such a law. This does not detract from the fact the constitution has to be complied with. It follows that the judiciary should be permitted and it is entitled to present its budget to the President for laying before Parliament without amendment, and only with comments of the President to accompany it.