The High Court is headed by the Honorable Principal Judge who is responsible for the administration of the court and has supervisory powers over Magistrate's courts.
The High Court of Uganda is located at Plot 2, the Square Kampala and it is the third court of record in order of hierarchy and has unlimited original jurisdiction, which means that it can try any case of any value or crime of any magnitude. Appeals from all Magistrates Courts go to the High Court.
Divisions of the High Court
- Civil DivisionThe Civil Division is located on the first floor of Twed towers, along Kafu Road, Nakasero. The functions of the Civil Division include hearing appeal cases from the Magistrates' courts in connection with torts committed against the person,defamation,bankruptcy and company winding up matters,partnership matters,companies matters, Real estate and personal property.
- Criminal DivisionThe Criminal Division is located on the second floor of High Court Building at Plot 2, the Square. This is Responsible for hearing all serious criminal offences referred to it by the Magistrates' Courts.All criminal offences such as Murder, Manslaughter,Rape,Defilement, Treason and other offences carrying death sentence or life imprisonment.According to the Principal Judge's Circular, except for Commercial Court Judges who must attend to only Commercial Court cases, the rest of the Judges of the High Court who are based in Kampala are members of the Criminal Division irrespective of the other Divisions of the High Court that they belong to. Each of the above judges is supposed to do, at least, one High Court Criminal Session in a year at Kampala
- Family DivisionThis division was created in April 2005. The Family Division is located on the third and fourth floors of Crusader House, Plot 3 Collvile Street . The Division handles Administration causes,Family causes, (Adoption, Guardianship, Affiliation/maintenance),Miscellaneous causes,Miscellaneous applications,Civil suits,Civil appeals,Originating summons, Civil revisions and Divorce causes.
- Land Division
The Land Division is a Division created at the High Court Head office at Kampala and located on the second floor of Twed Towers, along Kafu Road, Nakasero, Kampala. The Division is charged with the following responsibility of supervising the work of Land Tribunals and the adjudication of all land related dispute fall under this Division.
The land Division is established with three judges with a separate registry for the Division . There is a Registrar for the Land Division who doubles as the Registrar of the Land Tribunals. A desk office was also established under the office of the Registrar to handle the activities of the District Land Tribunals.
The Division has jurisdiction to entertain all actions arising out of or connected with any land transaction, including but not limited to: Sale, purchase and transfer of real property, leasing and rental of real property, Hy pothecation and secularization of land, other than as a mortgage involving a bank loan or credit facility, Destruction or degradation of land, Compensation paid for the compulsory acquisition of land,Minerals and mineral rights and Environmental disputes or causes.
- Commercial Court Division
The commercial court was established in 1996 as a division of the High Court of Uganda for hearing and determining commercial disputes with current jurisdiction (as established under Legal Notice No.4 of 1996 and instruction circular No.1 of 1996) for Company causes, intellectual property and Bankruptcies.
The mission of the court is to deliver to the commercial community an efficient, expeditious and cost-effective mode of adjudicating disputes that affect directly and significantly the economic, commercial and financial life of Uganda. In order to achieve this, the court has a number of objectives namely;
- To make litigation faster, cheaper, fairer and more accessible to Commercial community.
- To help attract foreign investment in Uganda through improving investor confidence in Uganda's legal system.
- To develop and introduce commercial-friendly rules of Court and encourage the use of Settlement methods including negotiation and mediation.
- To improve the Court's performance through applying modern Case management and modern Technology such as court recording.
- To create an effective institution with clear l'J1anagerial and Administrative structures run by honest, competent, motivated well-trained staff, supported by good facilities and equipment.
- To effectively supervise and monitor Bailiffs and all those involved in the Obtaining money or Property owed under a Court judgment.
- International Crimes Division
- Anti Corruption Division
- Execution of bailiffs Division
High Court Decentralization
Most of the business of the High Court is conducted at its headquarters in Kampala, but with the decentralization of the High Court, its services are now obtained at its High Court circuits namely:-
- Fort Portal High Court
- Gulu High Court
- Jinja High Court
- Masaka High Court
- Mbale High Court
- Mbarara High Court
- Kabale High Court
- Arua High Court
- Masindi High Court
- Lira High Court
- Soroti High Court
- Nakawa High Court