CJ flags off climate justice training for judicial officers

The Chief Justice, Alfonse Chigamoy Owiny – Dollo, has on Friday presided over the opening of a two-day workshop at Judicial Training institute.

Under the theme: Climate Justice “Ensuring a more sustainable and equitable society”, the training which is being held in partnership with Greenwatch, an environmental rights advocacy Non- Governmental organization, attracted a cross-section of Judicial Officers. Greenwatch was established in 1995, with a mission to promote public participation in the sustainable use, management and protection of the environment and the enforcement of the right to a clean and healthy environment.

At his maiden public event since being sworn-in on Tuesday, the Chief Justice commended the Institute and Greenwatch for ensuring that the training takes place despite the prevailing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He noted that there was increased decline in ecological diversity world over due to several unregulated human activities and encouraged the engagement of stakeholders in the protection of the environment.

The CJ equally emphasized the importance of Judicial trainings in regard to the changing trends all over the world.

He added, “Courts have a responsibility towards the realization of the sustainable development goals under SDG No.16 and thus the need for training and skilling officers.”

On her part, the Executive Director of JTI, Justice Damalie N. Lwanga, said Climate Justice was a new concept in Uganda as regards the field of litigation a fact that makes it relevant to engage and build the capacity of all stakeholders who contribute to access to Justice and environmental Law enforcement.

“I hope that this training will promote awareness of international Law policies and climate change initiatives among the Judicial Officers. It will also enable courts to positively adjudicate climate justice matters and provide tools for continuing learning and reference even after this workshop,” she said.

She equally congratulated the new Chief Justice on his appointment.

The Director/Legal counsel of Greenwatch, Ms. Samantha Atukunda K. Mwesigwa said the major objective of the training was to ensure that Environmental Law principles are incorporated in government policies and legislation and also ensure that Judicial Officers and other stakeholders are trained on how to apply Environment Law.

A presentation was made on Climate change, its impacts and possible responses, the role of the intergovernmental panel on climate change and Uganda’s commitment under the Paris agreement.
Other topics handled include; the evolution of climate legislation, climate litigation and opportunities and limitations for climate Justice among others.

The workshop facilitators include H/W Angualia Moses Gabriel, H/W Daniel Bwambale, Dr. Lwasa Shuaib, Dr. Patrick Byakagaba, Dr. Peter Mutesasira, Dr. Onyeka Osuji, Mr. Bob Natifu, Ms. Emily Kinama and Ms. Daphine Namanya.

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