Constitution:Chapter 8 - The Judiciary

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[edit] Administration of Justice

[edit] Article 126 Administration of Justice

(1) Judicial power is derived from the people and shall be exercised by the courts established under this Constitution in the name of the people and in conformity with law and with the values, norms and aspirations of the people.

(2) In adjudicating cases of both a civil and criminal nature, the courts shall, subject to the law, apply the following principles-

  • (a) justice shall be done to all irrespective of their social or economic status;
  • (b) justice shall not be delayed;
  • (c) adequate compensation shall be awarded to victims of wrongs;
  • (d) reconciliation between parties shall be promoted; and
  • (e) substantive justice shall be administered without undue regard to technicalities.

[edit] Article 127 Participation of the people in the administration of justice

Parliament shall make law providing for participation of the people in the administration of justice by the courts.

[edit] Article 128 Independence of the Judiciary

(1) In the exercise of judicial power, the courts shall be dependent and shall not be subject to the control or direction of person or authority.

(2) No person or authority shall interfere with the courts or judicial officers in the exercise of their judicial functions.

(3) All organs and agencies of the State shall accord the courts such assistance as may be required to ensure the effectiveness of the courts.

(4) A person exercising judicial power shall not be liable to any action or suit for any act or omission by that person in the exercise of judicial power.

(5) The administrative expenses of the Judiciary including all salaries, allowances, gratuities and pensions payable to a in respect of persons serving in the Judiciary, shall be charged a the Consolidated Fund.

(6) The Judiciary shall be self-accounting and may deal directly with the Ministry responsible for finance in relation to its finances.

(7) The salary, allowances, privileges and retirement benefits and other conditions of service of a judicial officer or other person exercising judicial power, shall not be varied to his or her disadvantage.

(8) The office of the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, Principal Judge, a Justice of the Supreme Court, a Justice of Appeal or a Judge of the High Court shall not be abolished when there is a substantive holder of that office.

[edit] The Courts of Judicature

[edit] Article 129 The Courts of Judicature

(1) The judicial power of Uganda shall be exercised by the Courts of Judicature which shall consist of-

  • (a) the Supreme Court of Uganda;
  • (b) the Court of Appeal of Uganda;
  • (c) the High Court of Uganda; and
  • (d) such subordinate courts as Parliament may by law establish, including Qadhis' courts for marriage, divorce, inheritance of property and guardianship, as may be prescribed by Parliament.

(2) The Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the High Court of Uganda shall be superior courts of record and shall each have all the powers of such a court.

(3) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, Parliament may make provision for the jurisdiction and procedure of the courts.

[edit] The Supreme Court of Uganda

[edit] Article 130 The Supreme Court of Uganda

The Supreme Court shall consist of-

(a) the Chief Justice; and

(b) such number of Justices of the Supreme Court not being less than six, as Parliament may by law prescribe.

[edit] Article 131 Composition of the Supreme Court

(1) The Supreme Court shall be duly constituted at any Composition sitting if it consists of an uneven number not being less than five members of the Court.

(2) When hearing appeals from decisions of the Court of Appeal sitting as a Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court Shall consist of a full bench of all members of the Supreme Court; and where any of them is not able to attend, the President shall, for that purpose, appoint an Acting Justice under clause (2) of article 142 of this Constitution.

(3) The Chief Justice shall preside at each sitting of the Supreme Court and in the absence of the Chief Justice the most senior member of the Court as constituted shall preside.

[edit] Article 132 Jurisdiction of Supreme Court

(1) The Supreme Court shall be the final court of appeal.

(2) An appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court from decisions of the Court of Appeal as may be prescribed by law.

(3) Any party aggrieved by a decision of the Court of Appeal sitting, as a Constitutional Court is entitled to appeal to the Supreme Court against the decision; and accordingly, an appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court under clause (2) of this article.

(4) The Supreme Court may, while treating its own previous decisions as normally binding, depart from a previous decision when it appears to it right to do so; and all other courts shall be bound to follow the decisions of the Supreme Court on questions of law.

[edit] Article 133 Administrative functions of the Chief Justice

(1) The Chief Justice-

  • (a) shall be the head of the judiciary and shall be responsible for the administration and supervision of all courts in Uganda; and
  • (b) may issue orders and directions to the courts necessary for the proper and efficient administration of justice.

(2) Where the office of the Chief Justice is vacant or where the Chief Justice is for any reason unable to perform the functions of his or her office, then until a person has been appointed to and has assumed the functions of that office or until the Chief Justice has resumed the performance of those functions, those functions shall be performed by the Deputy Chief Justice.

[edit] The Court of Appeal of Uganda

[edit] Article 134 The Court of Appeal of Uganda

(1) The Court of Appeal of Uganda shall consist of-

  • (a) the Deputy Chief Justice; and
  • (b) such number of Justices of Appeal not being less than seven as Parliament may by law prescribe.

(2) An appeal shall lie to the Court of Appeal from such decisions of the High Court as may be prescribed by law.

[edit] Article 135 Composition of the Court of Appeal

(1) The Court of Appeal shall be duly constituted at any sitting if it consists of an uneven number not being less than of the Court members of the Court.

(2) The Deputy Chief Justice shall preside at each sitting the court and in the absence of the Deputy Chief Justice, the most senior member of the Court as constituted shall preside.

(3) The Chief Justice, in consultation with the Deputy chief Justice, may create divisions of the Court of Appeal, as the Chief Justice may consider necessary-

  • (a) consisting of such numbers of Justices of Appeal as may be assigned to them by the Chief Justice;
  • (b) sitting at such places in Uganda as the Chief Justice may, after consultation with the Attorney-General, by statutory order, determine.

[edit] Article 136 Administrative Functions of the Deputy Chief Justice

(1) Subject to the provisions of article 133 of this Constitution, the Deputy Chief Justice shall: -

  • (a) deputise for the Chief Justice as and when the need arises;
  • (b) be the head of the Court of Appeal and in that capacity
  • (c) assist the Chief Justice in the administration of that Court; and
  • (d) perform such other functions as may be delegated or assigned to him or her by the Chief Justice.

(2) Where: -

  • (a) the office of the Deputy Chief Justice is vacant; or
  • (b) the Deputy Chief Justice is acting as Chief Justice;
  • (c) the Deputy Chief Justice is for any reason unable to perform the functions of his or her office;

Then, until a person has been appointed to and has assumed functions of the office of the Deputy Chief Justice, those functions shall be performed by a Justice of the Supreme Court a Justice of Appeal designated by the President, after consultation with the Chief Justice, or the acting Chief Justice, as the case may be.

[edit] The Constitutional Court

[edit] Article 137 Questions as to the interpretation of the constitution

(1) Any question as to the interpretation of this Constitution shall be determined by the Court of Appeal sitting as the Constitutional Court.

(2) When sitting as a Constitutional Court, the Court of Appeal shall consist of a bench of five members of that Court.

(3) A person who alleges that-

  • (a) an Act of Parliament or any other law or anything or done under the authority of any law; or
  • (b) any act or omission by any person or authority is inconsistent with or in contravention of a provision of this Constitution, may petition the Constitutional Court for a declaration to that effect, and for redress where appropriate.

(4) Where upon determination of the petition under clause (3) of this article the Constitutional Court considers that there is need for redress in addition to the declaration sought, the Constitutional Court may-

  • (a) grant an order of redress; or refer the mater to the High Court to investigate and determine the appropriate redress.
  • (b) refer the matter to the High Court to investigate and determine the Appropriate.

(5) Where any question as to the interpretation of this Constitution arises in any proceedings in a court of law other than a Field Court Martial, the Court-

  • (a) may, if it is of the opinion that the question involves a substantial question of law; and
  • (b) shall, if any party to the proceedings requests it to do so, refer the question to the Constitutional Court for decision in accordance with clause (l) of this article.

(6) Where any question is referred to the Constitutional Court under clause (5) of this article, the Constitutional Court shall give its decision on the question and the court in which the question arises shall dispose of the case in accordance with that decision.

(7) Upon a petition being made or a question being referred under this article, the Court of Appeal shall proceed to hear and determine the petition as soon as possible and may, for that purpose, suspend any other matter pending before it.

[edit] The High Court of Uganda

[edit] Article 138 The High Court of Uganda

(1) The High Court of Uganda shall consist of-

  • (a) the Principal Judge; and
  • (b) such number of Judges of the High Court as may be prescribed by Parliament.

(2) The High Court shall sit in such places as the Chief Justice may, in consultation with the Principal Judge, appoint; and in so doing, the Chief Justice shall, as far as practicable, ensure that the High Court is accessible to all the people.

[edit] Article 139 Jurisdiction of the High Court

(1) The High Court shall, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, have unlimited original jurisdiction in all matters and such appellate and other jurisdiction as may be conferred on it by this Constitution or other law.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution and any other law, the decisions of any court lower than the High Court shall be appeal able to the High Court.

[edit] Article 140 Hearing of election cases

(1) Where any question is before the High Court for determination under clause (1) of article 86 of this Constitution, the High Court shall proceed to hear and determine the question expeditiously and may, for that purpose, suspend any other matter pending before it.

(2) This article shall apply in a similar manner to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court when hearing and; determining appeals on questions referred to in clause (1) of this article.

[edit] Article 141 Administrative functions of the Principle Judge

(1) Subject to the provisions of article 133 of this Constitution the Principle Judge shall: -

  • (a) be the head of the High Court, and shall, in that capacity, assist the Chief Justice in the administration of the High Court and subordinate courts; and
  • (b) perform such other functions as may be delegated or assigned to him or her by the Chief Justice.

(2) Where-

  • (a) the office of Principal Judge is vacant; or
  • (b) the Principal Judge is for any reason unable to perform the functions of his or her office, then, until a person has been appointed to and has assumed the functions of that office, or until the Principal Judge has resumed those functions, those functions shall be performed by a Judge of the High Court designated by the President after consultation with the Chief Justice.

[edit] Appointments, qualifications and tenure of office of judicial officers

[edit] Article 142 Appointment of Judicial officers

(1) The Chief Justice, the Deputy Chief Justice, the Principal Judge, a Justice of the Supreme Court, a Justice of Appeal and a Judge of the High Court shall be appointed by the President acting on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission and with the approval of Parliament.

(2) Where-

  • (a) the office of a Justice of the Supreme Court or a Justice of Appeal or a Judge of the High Court is vacant; or
  • (b) a Justice of the Supreme Court or a Justice of Appeal or a Judge of the High Court is for any reason unable to perform the functions of his or her office; or
  • (c) the Chief Justice advises the Judicial Service Commission that the state of business in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal or the High Court so requires, the President may, acting on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission, appoint a person qualified for appointment as a Justice of the Supreme Court or a Justice of Appeal or a Judge of the High Court to act as such a Justice or Judge even though that person has attained the age prescribed for retirement in respect of that office.

(3) A person appointed under clause (2) of this article to act as a Justice of the Supreme Court, a Justice of Appeal or a Judge of the High Court shall continue to act for the period of the appointment or, if no period is specified, until the appointment is revoked by the President acting on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission, whichever is the earlier.

[edit] Article 143 Qualifications for appointment of judicial officers

(1) A person shall be qualified for appointment as-

  • (a) Chief Justice, if he or she has served as a Justice the Supreme Court of Uganda or of a court having similar jurisdiction or has practiced as an advocate for a period not less than twenty years before court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil; criminal matters;
  • (b) Deputy Chief Justice or Principal Judge, if he or she has served as a Justice of the Supreme Court or as a Justice of Appeal or as a Judge of the High Court or a court of similar jurisdiction to such a court or has practiced as an advocate for a period not less than fifteen years before a court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters;
  • (c) a Justice of the Supreme Court if he or she has served as a Justice of Appeal or a Judge of the High Court or a court of similar jurisdiction to such a court, has practiced as an advocate for a period not less than fifteen years before a court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters;
  • (d) a Justice of Appeal, if he or she has served as a Judge of the High Court or a court having similar or higher jurisdiction or has practiced as an advocate for a period not less than ten years before a court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters or is a distinguished jurist and an advocate of not less than ten years standing;
  • (e) a Judge of the High Court, if he or she is or has been a Judge of a court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters or a court having jurisdiction in appeals from any such court or has practiced as an advocate for a period not less than ten years before a court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters.

(2) Any period during which a person has practiced as a public officer holding an office for which qualifications as an advocate is required, shall be counted in the calculation of any period of practice required under clause (1) of this article even though that person does not have a practicing certificate.

[edit] Article 144 Tenure of Office of judicial officers

(1) A judicial officer may retire at any time after attaining age of sixty years, and shall vacate his or her office-

  • (a) in the case of the Chief Justice, the Deputy Chief Justice, a Justice of the Supreme Court and a Justice of Appeal, on attaining the age of seventy years; and
  • (b) in the case of the Principal Judge and a Judge of the High Court, on attaining the age of sixty five years; or
  • (c) in each case, subject to clause (7) of article 128 of this Constitution, on attaining such other age as may be prescribed by Parliament by law, but a judicial officer may continue in office after attaining the age at which he or she is required by this clause to vacate office, for a period not exceeding three months necessary to enable him or her to complete any work pending before him or her.

(2) A judicial officer may be removed from office only for-

  • (a) inability to perform the functions of his or her office arising from infirmity of body or mind;
  • (b) misbehaviour or misconduct; or
  • (c) incompetence; but only in accordance with the provisions of this article.

(3) The President shall remove a judicial officer if the question of his or her removal has been referred to a tribunal appointed under clause (4) of this article and the tribunal has recommended to the President that he or she ought to be removed from office on any ground described in clause (2) of this article.

(4) The question whether the removal of a judicial officer should be investigated shall be referred to the President by either Judicial Service Commission or the Cabinet with advice the President should appoint a tribunal; and the President then appoint a tribunal consisting of-

  • (a) in the case of the Chief Justice, the Deputy Chief Justice or the Principal Judge, five persons who or have been Justices of the Supreme Court or have been judges of a court having similar jurisdiction or who are advocates of at least two years standing; or
  • (b) in the case of a Justice of the Supreme Court or a Justice of Appeal, three persons who are or has been Justices of the Supreme Court or who are have been judges of a court of similar jurisdiction or who are advocates of at least fifteen years standing; or
  • (c) in the case of a Judge of the High Court, three persons who are or have held office as Judges of a court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters . a court having jurisdiction in appeals from such court or who are advocates of at least ten years standing.

(5) If the question of removing a judicial officer is referred to a tribunal under this article, the President shall suspend the judicial officer from performing the functions of his or her.

(6) A suspension under clause (5) of this article s cease to have effect if the tribunal advises the President that judicial officer suspended should not be removed.

(7) For the purposes of this article, "judicial o means the Chief Justice, the Deputy Chief Justice, the Principle Judge, a Justice of the Supreme Court, a Justice of Appeal Judge of the High Court.

[edit] Article 145 Registrars

(1) There shall be in the Judiciary the office of Chief Registrar and such number of Registrars as Parliament may by law prescribe.

(2) The Chief Registrar and a Registrar shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission.

[edit] Judicial Service Commission

[edit] Article 146 Judicial Service Commission

(1) There shall be a Judicial Service Commission.

(2) The Judicial Service Commission shall, subject to clause (3) of this article, consist of the following persons who shall be appointed by the President with the approval of Parliament-

  • (a) a Chairperson and a Deputy Chairperson who shall be persons qualified to be appointed as Justices of the Supreme Court, other than the Chief Justice, the Deputy Chief Justice and the Principal Judge;
  • (b) one person nominated by the Public Service Commission;
  • (c) two advocates of not less than fifteen years' standing nominated by the Uganda Law Society;
  • (d) one Judge of the Supreme Court nominated by the President in consultation with the Judges of the Supreme Court, the Justices of Appeal and Judges of the High Court; and
  • (e) two members of the public, who shall not be lawyers, nominated by the President.

(3) The Attorney General shall be an ex-officio member of the Commission.

(4) The Chief Justice, the Deputy Chief Justice and Principal Judge shall not be appointed to be Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson or member of the Judicial Service Commission.

(5) A person is not qualified to be appointed a member of the Judicial Service Commission unless the person is of high moral character and proven integrity.

(6) The office of Chairperson shall be full-time and a person shall not engage in private legal practice while holding that office.

(7) Subject to the provisions of this article, a member of the Judicial Service Commission shall vacate his or her office:

  • (a) at the expiration of four years from the date of his or her appointment but is eligible for reappointment for one more term; or
  • (b) if he or she is elected or appointed to any office determined by Parliament to be likely to compromise the independence of the Judicial Service Commission; a
  • (c) on being removed by the President; but the President the may only remove a member for inability to perform the functions of his or her office arising from infirmity of body or mind or for misbehaviour, misconduct or incompetence.

(8) There shall be a Secretary to the Judicial Service Commission who shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Public Service Commission.

[edit] Article 147 Functions of Judicial Service Commission

(1) The functions of the Judicial Service Commission are;

  • (a) to advise the President in the exercise of the President's power to appoint persons to hold or act in any office specified in clause (3) of this article, which includes power to confirm appointments, to exercise disciplinary control over such persons and to remove them from office;
  • (b) subject to the provisions of this Constitution, to review and make recommendations on the terms and conditions of service of Judges and other judicial officers;
  • (c) to prepare and implement programmes for the education of, and for the dissemination of information to judicial officers and the public about law and the administration of justice;
  • (d) to receive and process people's recommendations and complaints concerning the Judiciary and the administration of justice and generally, to act as a link between the people and the Judiciary;
  • (e) to advise the Government on improving the administration of justice; and
  • (f) any other function prescribed by this Constitution or by Parliament.

(2) In the performance of its functions, the Judicial Service Commission shall be independent and shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority.

(3) The offices referred to in paragraph (a) of clause (1) of this article are-

  • (a) the office of the Chief Justice, the Deputy Chief Justice, the Principal Judge, a Justice of the Supreme Court, a Justice of Appeal and a Judge of the High Court; and
  • (b) the office of Chief Registrar and Registrar.

[edit] Article 148 Appointment of other Judicial officers

Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Judicial Service Commission may appoint persons to hold or act in any Judicial office other than the offices specified in clause(3) of article147 of this Constitution and confirm appointments in and exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in such offices and remove such persons from office.

[edit] Article 149 Judicial Oath

Every judicial officer shall, before assuming the duties of his or her office, take and subscribe the oath of allegiance and the Judicial Oath specified in the Fourth Schedule to this Constitution.

[edit] Article 150 Powers to make Laws relating to Judiciary

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution Parliament may make laws providing for the structures, procedures and functions of the Judiciary.

(2) Without prejudice to clause (1) of this article Parliament may make laws for regulating and facilitating the discharge by the President and the Judicial Service Commission their functions under this Chapter.

[edit] Article 151 Interpretation

In this Chapter, unless the context otherwise requires "judicial officer means- (a) a Judge or any person who presides over a court or tribunal howsoever described; (b) the Chief Registrar or Registrar of a Court; (c) such other person holding any office connected with court as may be prescribed by Law.

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