The Deputy Chief Justice, Richard Buteera, has encouraged Judicial Officers to exploit all avenues available to widen their knowledge about climate justice for efficiency and effective handling of related cases.
He made these remarks while delivering a keynote speech at the Third Annual Training on Climate Justice held at Mestil hotel.
The two-day event was organized by the Judicial Training Institute in partnership with Greenwatch under the theme: Understanding climate change and exploring the role of the Judiciary in implementing climate Justice.
Addressing a cross-section of Judicial Officers, the DCJ noted that climate change is one of the greatest challenges affecting the world today.
He emphasized the need for continuous judicial instruction. “Continuous judicial training and education is an important tool in ensuring good governance and strengthening the rule of law. With better understanding and knowledge of the concepts of climate change and climate justice, enforcement of climate laws, policies, rules and regulations will be made easier for the courts.”
Justice Buteera commended Greenwatch for taking the lead in seeking judicial redress in climate-related disputes as well for playing their role in several cases.
The Director/Legal counsel of Greenwatch, Ms Samantha Atukunda K. Mwesigwa, explained that the training’s major objective was to ensure that Environmental Law principles are incorporated in government policies and legislation. Adding that their goal was to train all justice actors in Environmental Law.
Justice Damalie N. Lwanga, the ED JTI, emphasized that great effort must be made to prevent or mitigate climate change’s adverse impact on Ugandans’ livelihood.
“I hope that this training will promote awareness of International Law policies and climate change initiatives among Judicial Officers and also enable courts to positively adjudicate climate justice matters and provide tools for continuous learning and reference even after this workshop,” she said.
Justice Lwanga commended Environmental Law Alliance (ELAW) and True Cost Initiative to fund the training and Greenwatch and the JTI staff for organising the same.
A presentation was made on the evolution of Climate legislation, Climate litigation as a tool to promote Climate Justice: distinguishing climate litigation in the global North and the global south,
Other topics to be discussed include; the relevance of climate litigation in holding governments accountable for the effects of climate change, a Kenyan perspective, strengthening collaborative efforts of the key stakeholders in advancing climate Justice in Uganda and impacts of extreme weather conditions on communities and resultant legal consequences.
The key facilitators are Court of Appeal’s Justice Kenneth Kakuru, Dr Patrick Byakagaba, Dr Peter Mutesasira, Ms Emily Kinama and Mr Gawaya Tegule. The others are Mr Bob Natifu, Ms Sarah Naigaga, Mr Moses Muhumuza and Ms Susan Nadundu.