The Leader of Opposition in Parliament (LOP), Betty Aol Ochan has asked the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to provide for creation of the Humans Rights Fund for the victims of human rights abuse to access compensation.
Aol made the request while appearing before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee to present the Opposition’s views on the Human Rights Enforcement Bill 2015.
“The Bill should provide for a creation of a human rights fund from which victims can be compensated since there is a lot of delay in payments of the court awards and this delay as well amounts to abuse of human rights,” Aol who doubles as the woman legislator for Gulu district said.
Aol argued that there is need for the Humans Rights Enforcement Bill to recognize that there are indigent citizens who cannot afford services of lawyers yet their human rights are fundamental and must be protected.
“The law should provide for oral applications in court, complaints be registered by letters and any other form as the law may prescribe. This law shall be able to establish human rights fund from which the victims can be compensated. Delay in payments of the court wards and compensations itself amounts to abuse of human rights,” Aol argued.
She has as well recommended that government considers giving powers to Magistrate Courts to handled cases of Human Rights violation in the country.
The Gulu district woman MP said that the Human Rights Commission as well as the High Courts are inaccessible to the people in remote areas who may need its services to report cases of abuse as opposed to Magistrates Courts that are near to reach.
“Magistrate courts are in most districts in the country as opposed to High court and leaving such cases to before the high court would make the complainants lose hope and easily abandon the case,” Aol said.
“It should be noted that the Human Rights Enforcement Act should not limit the justification of the High Court to hear matters concerning human rights enforcement,” she said.
She noted that the High Court has unlimited original jurisdiction in all matters under the Constitution however to easy administration of justice and accessibility to court by Human Rights abuse victims, magistrate courts should be allowed to handle some matters.
“This will reduce case backlog and clogging an already busy court as it is the case currently.”