Parliament Approves Sh4 Billion for Industrial Court Digital Upgrade

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Parliament has approved a budget allocation of Sh4 billion aimed at digitizing five halls within the Industrial Court, integrating court recording, video conferencing, and transcription equipment to enhance efficiency.

The allocation is part of the budget committee report on the National Budget Framework Paper for the financial years 2024/25 to 2028/29, endorsed by Parliament on January 31, 2024.

Chairing the committee, Kachumbala County MP Patrick Isiagi Opolot highlighted the necessity for digital transformation within the Industrial Court, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo’s directives during the pandemic emphasized the utilization of online hearings over face-to-face litigations whenever possible.

Opolot emphasized the urgency for the Industrial Court to embrace digital solutions such as court recordings, video conferencing, and e-filings, which have been adopted by other courts within the Judiciary. The proposed allocation of Sh4 billion is deemed necessary to facilitate the digitalization of court halls.

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The Industrial Court, under the leadership of Lady Justice Linda Lillian Tumusiime, was established to address labor disputes as stipulated in the Labour Disputes (Arbitration and Settlement) Act, 2006 Cap 224. Its jurisdiction extends to disputes referred by labor officers, disputes referred by parties or labor officers when unable to resolve disputes, and disputes referred by the responsible minister upon notice of intended labor withdrawal.

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