court of appeal

Justice for these elderly folk – 21 years later

Well over 20 years ago the Kampala municipal authorities retrenched a group of long-serving workers. But they were not paid their full termination benefits. For more than two decades the group has been fighting to get the money to which they are entitled. They were ultimately awarded a certain sum plus damages by the high court in 2015 but they appealed, saying it was far too little. Now Uganda's Court of Appeal has given its decision on the matter. Would the judges find the pensioners ought to have been better compensated after 21 years of poverty? 

Read the judgment on ULII

Sometimes the courts have a chance to make a really significant difference in the lives of ordinary people. For three judges of Uganda’s Court of Appeal one of those moments came in a recent case concerning 22 elderly people.

Controversial land inquiry warned over infringing judicial independence

Tension between Uganda’s judiciary and a commission of inquiry headed by one of the judiciary’s own members has heightened following a new Court of Appeal decision. The appeal judgment refused to stay a huge, court-ordered payout to a local pastor and land broker, as ordered by the inquiry, and warned that the independence of the judiciary was at stake if court decisions and orders could be countermanded by a commission of inquiry.

Read judgment

 The commission of inquiry into land policies and administration in Uganda, headed by Judge Catherine Bamugemereire, has been at the centre of a number of high-profile disputes ever since it was set up.

What is going on in Tanzania's trial courts?

WHEN half of the criminal appeals heard by a country’s apex court lead to decisions that the trials were a nullity or fatally defective in some way and that conviction and sentence must be set aside, you know there is a problem. This is the situation in Tanzania where the court of appeal considered almost 30 criminal appeals between 29 November and 14 December 2018 and threw out the results in 13 of these cases because of some major defect during the trial in the court below.

As I read the decisions of Tanzania’s highest court for its last session of 2018, I was shocked by what I found. In one appeal after another the judges agreed that the trial court had made errors so serious that they “vitiated” the proceedings, and the accused had to be released at once.

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