The Constitutional Court has dedicated two weeks of day to day hearing, starting today (February 1), to dispose of 25 petitions before embarking on Judgment writing. A Cause List signed by the Court’s Ag Assistant Registrar, Mary Babirye, indicates that the Deputy Chief Justice, Richard Buteera, will lead a panel of five justices to handle the petitions.
The other Justices are Kenneth Kakuru, Catherine Bamugemereire, Christopher Madrama and Irene Mulyagonja.
On the matters cause-listed, at least eight matters were filed in 2015. Ms Babirye says this is a deliberate effort to handle backlog at the Court. The other matters to be handled in this session are those filed between 2016 and 2020. As at Friday, the Court had a total of 249 pending Constitutional Petitions.
Some of the notable cases include that of Unwanted Witness Uganda challenging the Uganda Communications Commission decision to block and shut down social media platforms during the elections.
In another matter, Fox Odoi is contesting the declaration of 20 (21) of the Regulations for NRM Primary Elections is contrary to Article 28(1), 44(c) of the Constitution.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is also seeking for a declaration that the various orders made by the High Court of Uganda that led to the attachment and sale of the premises of Zaire government in Kololo and Mbuya are contrary to the Foreign Policy objectives outlined in part XXVIII of the Constitution.
Ms Babirye reassured the parties involved in the Session that it will be held in conformity of COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedure protocols to avert the spread of the virus. “The Court will encourage only advocates and litigants in the matters to participate to avoid crowding the court hall,” she said.
The participating advocates have been advised to file both soft and hard copies of their submissions ahead of the hearings.
The Registrar of the Court, Susan Kanyange, said the Court intends to hold two other Constitutional Petitions sessions during the course of this year. Later this month, the Court of Appeal will hold a Civil Appeals Session.