President Yoweri Museveni has appointed Justice Alphonse Owiny-Dollo as the substantive Chief Justice.
Owiny-Dollo has been serving as Deputy Chief Justice until June 22 when he was named as Acting chief justice following the retirement of bart Katureebe who clocked the mandatory 70 years of age.
The Constitution demands that justices of the appellate courts (Supreme Court and Court of Appeal) retire at 70 years, High Court judges at 65 and magistrates and registrars at 60. Justice Katureebe officially retired on June 21 after clocking the mandatory retirement age of 70.
According to media reports, Owiny-Dollo has been confirmed as the new Chief Justice after beating 7 other Justices including Justice Esther Kisaakye, Justice Stella Arach-Amoko, Justice Kenneth Kakuru, Justice Fredrick Egonda Ntende, Justice Richard Buteera, Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, and Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwine.
Prior to his appointment as Chief Justice, Owiny-Dollo served as deputy Chief Justice from 30 September 2017. He was appointed to that position in August 2017, replacing Steven Kavuma, who attained the mandatory retirement age of 70 years, on 29 September 2017.
Among the first personalities to pay tribute to Owiny-Dollo’s appointment include Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations. Gen Muhoozi posted on Twitter saying, “I want to congratulate our new Chief Justice, His Lordship Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo. God bless you your Lordship.”
Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah also tweeted saying, “Congratulations your Lordship Alfonse Chigamoy Owiny-Dollo, Chief Justice designate!”
He was born on 18 January 1956 in present-day Agago District. He holds a Bachelor of Laws from Makerere University, and a Diploma in Legal Practice, from the Law Development Centre in Kampala. His Master of Arts in conflict resolution, was obtained from the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom. He also has a certificate in advanced conflict mediation skills, obtained from the Center for Conflict Resolution, in Cape Town, South Africa.
In 1988, Owiny-Dollo served as legal counsel in the peace talks between the then rebel outfit, Uganda People’s Democratic Movement (UPDM), and the government of Uganda. In that capacity, he wrote the peace agreement executed between the government and UPDM, on 3 June 1988, at Pece Stadium, in Gulu.
From 1994 until 1996, he was a member of the Constituent Assembly that drafted the 1995 Uganda Constitution. He also served as a member of parliament, representing Agago County in the 6th Parliament (1996–2001). During the talks between the Lord’s Resistance Army and the National Resistance Movement government of Uganda, from 2006 until 2008, Owiny-Dollo served as legal counsel to Reik Machar, the Vice President of South Sudan, who mediated the talks.
In 2008, he was appointed to the High Court of Uganda, serving in that capacity until 2015. In 2015, Owiny-Dollo, was promoted to the Court of Appeal of Uganda. However, he couldn’t immediately take up his appointment because he was hearing a terrorism case in the High Court, in which 13 men were accused of killing 76 people in twin bombings in Kampala in 2010. He disposed of that case in May 2016.