latest content

Why has Uganda’s important new human rights law not been officially promulgated?

Four months ago, we published an enthusiastic story about a new law in Uganda. It was headed, ‘Uganda’s brave new human rights law takes enforcement to a new level’.

This important new law introduced a number of ways to ensure that human rights were respected, including holding state officials responsible for all or part of the legal costs if they were found to have infringed the new law, Officials would also be liable for part of any damages awarded.

Judiciaries leading free access to law movement in Africa

Senior judicial leaders, including host Uganda’s Chief Justice Bart Magunda Katureebe and African Court President Justice Sylvain Ore, took part in the Freedom of Expression Seminar in Kampala, Uganda on 29 October 2019.

In the Case of Szücs v. Austria the European Court of Human Rights observed that ‘[t]he ability of citizens to access court decisions protects against the administration of justice in secret, and is a means to maintain public confidence in courts.’ Free access to court decisions in the African context was the topic of a presentation to a gathering of continental judicial leaders on the sidelines of the 4th African Union Judicial Dialogue in Kampala, Uganda last week.

'Satan did it', claims rape accused

Read judgment

This is the first time I have read judgment in a rape trial heard by the High Court of Sierra Leone. There are several ways in which it is different from cases in other jurisdictions involving child rape or ‘defilement’ as it is sometimes called, and some of these differences are worth pointing out.

Convicted of genocide, former Rwandan cabinet minister loses last attempt to stay out of jail

For those attending hearings of the IR-MCT’s Appeal Chamber in Arusha towards the end of September, each day brought new surprises.

Seven court days, between 16 and 24 September, were focused on the evidence of four witnesses who gave crucial testimony in the trial of Ngirabatwane some years before. It was mainly because of their evidence to the court that he was convicted of both direct and public incitement to genocide, and of instigating and abetting genocide.

Kenya's Chief Justice shines YouTube light on tension with government

Watch the Chief Justice give his speech

Kenya’s Chief Justice David Maraga has won international respect for the brave decision made by himself and other members of the Supreme Court in setting aside the result of the August 2017 elections.

‘Brave’, because it would inevitably be seen as anti-government in a country where judges are increasingly expected not to rule against the ruling elite.

Don’t like a court judgment? Just change the law, why don’t you?

 

Though Judge Brian Preston is the author of many other judgments, the best known is a decision he gave in February 2019. It involved a mining company that wanted to extract 21m tons of coal over 16 years in a picturesque country valley. But the minister for planning refused development consent. And that is how the case found itself before Judge Preston, via an appeal by the mining company

No more child brides says Tanzania's highest court

Read judgment on TanzLII

When the high court delivered its 2016 judgment finding that children could not marry before the age of 18, child and women’s rights’ activists rejoiced. Sections of Tanzania’s Law of Marriage Act that allowed girls to be married while still under age were declared unconstitutional, and the legislature was put on terms to change the law so that it conformed with the constitution.

Pages