Article 126-136 Uganda Constitution 1995
Article 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135 and 136 of the Uganda Constitution 1995, with others, are under Chapter 8 of the Constitution. Chapter 8 is titled ‘The Judiciary‘.
Article 126 Uganda Constitution 1995
Exercise of judicial power
(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.
Article 127 Uganda Constitution 1995
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.
Article 128 Uganda Constitution 1995
Independence of the judiciary
(1) In the exercise of judicial power, the courts shall be independent and shall not be subject to the control or direction of any 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 to 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 or in respect of persons serving in the judiciary, shall be charged on 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.
Article 129 Uganda Constitution 1995
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.
Article 130 Uganda Constitution 1995
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.
Article 131 Uganda Constitution 1995
Composition of the Supreme Court
(1) The Supreme Court shall be duly constituted at any sitting if it consists of an uneven number not being less than five members of the court.
(2) Parliament shall by law, prescribe the grounds and procedure that every political party or organisation must follow before terminating a person’s membership to a political party or organisation.
(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.
Article 132 Uganda Constitution 1995
Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court
(1) The Supreme Court shall be the final court of appeal.
(2) An appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court from such 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.
Article 133 Uganda Constitution 1995
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.
Article 134 Uganda Constitution 1995
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.
Article 135 Uganda Constitution 1995
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 three members of the court.
(2) The Deputy Chief Justice shall preside at each sitting of 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.
Article 136 Uganda Constitution 1995
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 assist the Chief Justice in the administration of that court; and
(c) perform such other functions as may be delegated or assigned to him or her by the Chief Justice.
(a) the office of the Deputy Chief Justice is vacant;
(b) the Deputy Chief Justice is acting as Chief Justice; or
(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 the functions of the office of the Deputy Chief Justice, those functions shall be performed by a justice of the Supreme Court or a justice of Appeal designated by the President, after consultation with the Chief Justice, or the acting Chief Justice, as the case may be.