Judicature Act

Cap: 
13
In force: 
Yes

 

CHAPTER 13

THE JUDICATURE ACT.

Arrangement of Sections.

Section

PART I—GENERAL.

Interpretation.

Order of precedence of judges.

PART II—THE SUPREME COURT OF UGANDA.

Supreme Court of Uganda.

Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

Appeals to the Supreme Court in criminal matters.

Appeals to the Supreme Court in civil matters.

Supreme Court to have powers of the court of original jurisdiction.

Powers of a single justice of the Supreme Court.

PART III—THE COURT OF APPEAL OF UGANDA.

Court of Appeal of Uganda.

Jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal.

Court of Appeal to have powers of the court of original jurisdiction.

Powers of a single justice of the Court of Appeal.

PART IV—THE HIGH COURT OF UGANDA.

High Court of Uganda.

Jurisdiction of the High Court.

Customary law.

Appellate jurisdiction of the High Court.

Supervision of magistrates courts.

Sittings, circuits, etc. of the High Court.

Continuous sitting of the High Court.

High Court circuits.

Distribution of business in the High Court.

Sittings in court or in chambers.

PART V—PROVISIONS RELATING TO CERTAIN TRIALS.

Trial of admiralty offences.

Death following injuries inflicted at sea.

Proctor for the State.

Relief from reentry or forfeiture for nonpayment of rent.

Inquiries and trials by referees, etc. and arbitrators.

References to referees.

Trial by referee or arbitrator.

Powers of referees and arbitrators.

Statement of case pending arbitration.

Power of the court to impose terms as to costs.

Remuneration of referees and arbitrators.

Savings for the Government.

PART VI—REMEDIES.

General provisions as to remedies.

Prerogative writ of habeas corpus.

Appeal for habeas corpus.

Prerogative orders.

Mandamus, etc. by interlocutory order.

Injunctions.

PART VII—PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE OF COURTS.

Practice and procedure.

Rules Committee.

Functions of the Rules Committee.

Chief Justice to make rules of court relating to prerogative orders.

PART VIII —MISCELLANEOUS.

Officers of courts.

Seals of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Court.

Process and execution.

Protection of judicial officers.

Certain Acts of the United Kingdom to continue to apply.

Savings.

Schedules

First Schedule Certain Acts of the United Kingdom to

continue to apply.

Second Schedule Adaptation of United Kingdom Statute in

application to Uganda.

CHAPTER 13 THE JUDICATURE ACT.

Commencement: 17 May, 1996.

An Act to consolidate and revise the Judicature Act to take account of the provisions of the Constitution relating to the judiciary.

PART I—GENERAL.

1. Interpretation.

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“applied law” means the United Kingdom Acts the application of which is continued by section 47;

“Parliament” has the meaning assigned to it in the Constitution;

“rules of court” means rules of court made or continued in force under this Act.

2. Order of precedence of judges.

The order of precedence among the justices of the Supreme Court, the justices of the Court of Appeal and the judges of the High Court shall be as follows—

the Chief Justice shall take precedence over all justices of the Supreme Court and the justices of the Court of Appeal and judges of the High Court; the Deputy Chief Justice shall take precedence immediately after the Chief Justice, and the Principal Judge shall take precedence immediately after the Deputy Chief Justice;

the justices of the Supreme Court shall take precedence immediately after the Principal Judge and among themselves, according to the priority of the dates on which they respectively took office as justices of the Supreme Court;

the justices of the Court of Appeal shall take precedence immediately after the justices of the Supreme Court and among themselves, according to the priority of the dates on which they respectively took office as justices of the Court of Appeal;

the judges of the High Court shall take precedence immediately after the justices of the Court of Appeal and among themselves, according to the priority of the dates on which they respectively

took and subscribed the judicial oath as judges of the High Court; (e) where in accordance with paragraph (b), (c) or (d) of this section there is equality of precedence in respect of two or more judges, precedence among them shall be determined according to age, a person higher in age taking precedence over a person lower in age.

PART II—THE SUPREME COURT OF UGANDA.

3. Supreme Court of Uganda.

The Supreme Court shall consist of—

the Chief Justice; and

six justices of the Supreme Court or such higher number of justices of the Supreme Court as Parliament may by resolution prescribe.

4. Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

An appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court from such decisions of the Court of Appeal as are prescribed by the Constitution, this Act or any other law.

5. Appeals to the Supreme Court in criminal matters.

(1) In criminal matters, in the case of an offence punishable by a sentence of death, an appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court as follows—

where the Court of Appeal has confirmed a conviction and sentence of death passed by the High Court, the accused may appeal as of right to the Supreme Court on a matter of law or mixed law and fact;

where the High Court has acquitted an accused person, but the Court of Appeal has reversed that judgment and ordered the conviction of the accused, the accused may appeal to the Supreme Court as of right on a matter of law or mixed law and fact;

where the High Court has convicted an accused person, but the Court of Appeal has reversed the conviction and ordered the acquittal of the accused, the Director of Public Prosecutions may appeal as of right to the Supreme Court for a declaratory judgment on a matter of law or mixed law and fact;

where the Court of Appeal has confirmed the acquittal of an

accused by the High Court, the Director of Public Prosecutions may appeal to the Supreme Court on a matter of law of great public importance.

Subsection (1) shall apply with necessary modifications to an appeal to the Supreme Court from a conviction and sentence or acquittal in the case of an offence not punishable by a sentence of death, in respect of convictions and acquittals by the High Court and the Court of Appeal; except that in any such case, an appeal shall lie on a matter of law only.

In the case of an appeal against a sentence and an order other than one fixed by law, the accused person may appeal to the Supreme Court against the sentence or order, on a matter of law, not including the severity of the sentence.

Where the Supreme Court varies a conviction, by reducing the offence to a lesser offence, thereby necessitating a variation of sentence or any order, including the imposition of a statutory order, the Supreme Court shall impose such term of imprisonment or fine or both and make any such order as is prescribed by law.

Where the appeal emanates from a judgment of the chief magistrate or a magistrate grade I in the exercise of his or her original jurisdiction, and either the accused person or the Director of Public Prosecutions has appealed to the High Court and the Court of Appeal, the accused or the Director of Public Prosecutions may lodge a third appeal to the Supreme Court, with the certificate of the Court of Appeal that the matter raises a question of law of great public or general importance or if the Supreme Court, in its overall duty to see that justice is done, considers that the appeal should be heard, except that in such a third appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Supreme Court shall only give a declaratory judgment.

Where a person under the age of eighteen years is subject to the order of the Minister, having been found guilty of an offence punishable by a sentence of death, and the Court of Appeal has confirmed that order, that person may appeal as of right to the Supreme Court on a matter of law.

If the Court of Appeal has acquitted the person referred to in subsection (6), there shall be no further appeal.

No appeal shall be allowed in the case of any person who has pleaded guilty in his or her trial by the High Court, the chief magistrate or a magistrate grade I and has been convicted on the plea, except as to the legality of the plea or to the extent or legality of the sentence.

Subject to this section, the Supreme Court may, in an appeal under this section confirm, vary or reverse the conviction and sentence appealed against or confirm or reverse the acquittal of the accused person.

A declaratory judgment under this section shall not operate to reverse any acquittal but shall thereafter be binding upon all courts subordinate to the Supreme Court in the same manner as an ordinary judgment of that court.

Section 132(4) and (5) of the Trial on Indictments Act shall, with necessary modifications, apply to the Supreme Court.

6. Appeals to the Supreme Court in civil matters.

An appeal shall lie as of right to the Supreme Court where the Court of Appeal confirms, varies or reverses a judgment or order, including an interlocutory order, given by the High Court in the exercise of its original jurisdiction and either confirmed, varied or reversed by the Court of Appeal.

Where an appeal emanates from a judgment or order of a chief magistrate or a magistrate grade I in the exercise of his or her original jurisdiction, but not including an interlocutory matter, a party aggrieved may lodge a third appeal to the Supreme Court on the certificate of the Court of Appeal that the appeal concerns a matter of law of great public or general importance, or if the Supreme Court considers, in its overall duty to see that justice is done, that the appeal should be heard.

7. Supreme Court to have powers of the court of original jurisdiction.

For the purposes of hearing and determining an appeal, the Supreme Court shall have all the powers, authority and jurisdiction vested under any written law in the court from the exercise of the original jurisdiction of which the appeal originally emanated.
8. Powers of a single justice of the Supreme Court.

A single justice of the Supreme Court may exercise any power vested in the Supreme Court in any interlocutory cause or matter before the Supreme Court.

Any person dissatisfied with the decision of a single justice in the exercise of a power under subsection (1) is entitled to have the matter determined by a bench of three justices of the Supreme Court which may confirm, vary or reverse the decision.

PART III—COURT OF APPEAL OF UGANDA.

9. Court of Appeal of Uganda.

The Court of Appeal of Uganda shall consist of—

the Deputy Chief Justice; and

seven justices of the Court of Appeal or such higher number of justices of the Court of Appeal as Parliament may by resolution prescribe.

10. Jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal.

An appeal shall lie to the Court of Appeal from decisions of the High Court prescribed by the Constitution, this Act or any other law.

11. Court of Appeal to have powers of the court of original
jurisdiction.

For the purpose of hearing and determining an appeal, the Court of Appeal shall have all the powers, authority and jurisdiction vested under any written law in the court from the exercise of the original jurisdiction of which the appeal originally emanated.

12. Powers of a single justice of the Court of Appeal.

A single justice of the Court of Appeal may exercise any power vested in the Court of Appeal in any interlocutory cause or matter before the Court of Appeal.

Any person dissatisfied with the decision of a single justice of the
Court of Appeal in the exercise of any power under subsection (1) shall be entitled to have the matter determined by a bench of three justices of the Court of Appeal which may confirm, vary or reverse the decision.

PART IV—THE HIGH COURT OF UGANDA.

13. High Court of Uganda.

The High Court of Uganda shall consist of—

the Principal Judge; and

twenty-five judges of the High Court or such higher number of judges of the High Court as may be prescribed by Parliament by resolution.

14. Jurisdiction of the High Court.

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

Subject to the Constitution and this Act, the jurisdiction of the High Court shall be exercised—

in conformity with the written law, including any law in force immediately before the commencement of this Act;

subject to any written law and insofar as the written law does not extend or apply, in conformity with— (i) the common law and the doctrines of equity; (ii) any established and current custom or usage; and (iii) the powers vested in, and the procedure and practice

observed by, the High Court immediately before the commencement of this Act insofar as any such jurisdiction is consistent with the provisions of this Act; and

(c) where no express law or rule is applicable to any matter in issue
before the High Court, in conformity with the principles of
justice, equity and good conscience.

(3) The applied law, the common law and the doctrines of equity shall be in force only insofar as the circumstances of Uganda and of its peoples permit, and subject to such qualifications as circumstances may render necessary.

Subject to subsection (2), in every cause or matter before the High Court, the rules of equity and the rules of common law shall be administered concurrently; and if there is a conflict or variance between the rules of equity and the rules of common law with reference to the same subject, the rules of equity shall prevail.

For the purposes of this section, the expressions “common law” and “doctrines of equity” mean those parts of the law of Uganda, other than the written law, the applied law or the customary law, observed and administered by the High Court as the common law and the doctrines of equity respectively.

15. Customary law.

Nothing in this Act shall deprive the High Court of the right to observe or enforce the observance of, or shall deprive any person of the benefit of, any existing custom, which is not repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience and not incompatible either directly or by necessary implication with any written law.

No party to a suit shall be entitled to claim the benefit of any custom if it appears from express contract or from the nature of the transaction out of which the suit or question has arisen that the party agreed that his or her obligations in connection with the transaction shall be regulated exclusively by law, other than by the customary law.

16. Appellate jurisdiction of the High Court.

Subject to the Constitution, this Act and any other law, the High Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals which lie to it by virtue of any enactment from decisions of magistrates courts and other subordinate courts in the exercise of their original or appellate jurisdiction.

The High Court shall determine any questions of law referred to it by way of case stated by a magistrate in accordance with any enactment.

17. Supervision of magistrates courts.

(1) The High Court shall exercise general powers of supervision over magistrates courts.
(2) With regard to its own procedures and those of the magistrates courts, the High Court shall exercise its inherent powers to prevent abuse of the process of the court by curtailing delays, including the power to limit and stay delayed prosecutions as may be necessary for achieving the ends of justice.

Sittings, circuits, etc. of the High Court.

18. Continuous sitting of the High Court.

Subject to article 138(2) of the Constitution and this Act, and to rules of court, such number of judges of the High Court as may be requisite having regard to the business to be disposed of, shall, so far as is reasonably practicable and subject to vacations, sit continuously for the trial of civil and criminal causes.

19. High Court circuits.

The High Court shall hold sessions in various areas of Uganda to be designated High Court circuits for the trial of civil and criminal causes and for the disposal of other legal business pending at such time and place as the Chief Justice may in consultation with the Principal Judge appoint.

For the purposes of this section, the Chief Justice may, by statutory instrument, declare any area to be a High Court circuit.

20. Distribution of business in the High Court.

Subject to article 141 of the Constitution, the Principal Judge may determine the distribution of business before the High Court among the judges and may assign any judicial duty to any judge and shall, in doing so, take into account article 28 of the Constitution.

Subject to any written law, every proceeding in the High Court shall, so far as is practicable and convenient, be heard and disposed of by a single judge; and proceedings in any action subsequent to the final judgment or order shall, so far as is practicable and convenient, be taken before the judge before whom the trial or hearing took place.
21. Sittings in court or in chambers.

A judge may, subject to the provisions of any written law, exercise in court or in chambers any part of the jurisdiction vested in the High Court in any cause or matter.

Subject to this Act, with respect to appeals in matters of practice and procedure, every order made by a judge in chambers, other than an order relating to costs, may, upon notice, be set aside or discharged by the judge sitting in court.

PART V—PROVISIONS RELATING TO CERTAIN TRIALS.

22. Trial of admiralty offences.

Where any person is charged with any offence committed on any vessel registered in Uganda upon the sea or any other waters outside the jurisdiction of the High Court, any public officer and the High Court shall have and exercise the same authority and jurisdiction for inquiring into, trying and determining such offence as by the law of Uganda would have been exercised if the offence had been committed upon any waters situated within Uganda.

23. Death following injuries inflicted at sea.

Where any person dies in Uganda as a result of injuries inflicted on him or her upon the sea or upon waters outside the jurisdiction of the High Court, every offence committed in respect of any such case may be inquired into, tried, determined and punished in Uganda in the same manner and in all respects as if the offence had been wholly committed in Uganda.

Where any person is charged with any offence in respect of the death of any person who dies in circumstances described in subsection (1), the offence shall be taken for the purposes of this Act to have been wholly committed upon the sea or upon such other waters referred to in subsection (1).

24. Proctor for the State.

(1) Where a petition for nullity of marriage or divorce has been filed in the High Court—

the High Court may, if it thinks fit, direct all necessary papers in the matter to be sent to the Attorney General who may personally or by any other counsel argue before the High Court any question in relation to the matter which the High Court deems to be necessary or expedient to have fully argued;

any person may, at any time before the decree nisi is made absolute, give information to the Attorney General of any matter material to the determination of the case; and the Attorney General may thereupon take such steps as he or she may consider necessary or expedient.

(2) Where in consequence of any information the Attorney General is satisfied that any party to a petition for nullity of marriage or divorce is or has been acting in collusion for the purpose of obtaining a decree contrary to the justice of the case, the Attorney General may, with the leave of the High Court, intervene and subpoena witnesses to prove the alleged collusion.

25. Relief from reentry or forfeiture for nonpayment of rent.

Where a lessor is proceeding, by action or otherwise, to enforce a right of reentry or forfeiture for nonpayment of rent, the lessee, his or her executors, administrators or assigns may, in the lessor’s action or in an action brought by himself or herself, apply to the High Court for relief.

The High Court may, under subsection (1)—

grant any relief it considers fit on such terms as to costs, expenses, damages, compensation, penalty or otherwise, including the granting of an injunction to restrain any future nonpayment of rent, as it thinks fit; or

refuse the relief sought as it thinks fit.

Where relief is granted under this section, the lessee, his or her executors, administrators or assigns shall hold the demised property according to the terms of the lease without necessity of a new lease.

The High Court may, after judgment in any action for a right of reentry or forfeiture, grant relief from forfeiture on application made in that behalf within six months from the date of the execution of judgment by the lessee, his or her executor, administrator or assign on such terms and conditions as to payment of rent and costs or otherwise as it may impose.

Inquiries and trials by referees, etc. and arbitrators.

26. References to referees.

The High Court may, in accordance with rules of court, refer to an official or special referee for inquiry and report any question arising in any cause or matter, other than in a criminal proceeding.

The report of an official or special referee may be adopted wholly or partly by the High Court and if so adopted may be enforced as a judgment or order of the High Court.

27. Trial by referee or arbitrator.

Where in any cause or matter, other than a criminal proceeding—

all the parties interested who are not under disability consent;

the cause or matter requires any prolonged examination of documents or any scientific or legal investigation which cannot, in the opinion of the High Court, conveniently be conducted by the High Court through its ordinary officers; or
(c) the question in dispute consists wholly or partly of accounts,
the High Court may, at any time, order the whole cause or matter or any
question of fact arising in it to be tried before a special referee or arbitrator
agreed to by the parties or before an official referee or an officer of the High
Court.

28. Powers of referees and arbitrators.

In all cases of reference to a referee or arbitrator under this Act, the referee or arbitrator shall be deemed to be an officer of the High Court and, subject to rules of court, shall have such powers and conduct the reference in such manner as the High Court may direct.

29. Statement of case pending arbitration.

A referee or arbitrator may, at any stage of the proceedings under a reference, and shall, if so directed by the High Court, state in the form of a special case for the opinion of the High Court any question of law arising in the proceedings before him or her.
30. Power of court to impose terms as to costs.

An order made under this Act relating to inquiries and trials by reference may be made on such terms as to costs as the High Court thinks fit.

31. Remuneration of referees and arbitrators.

The remuneration to be paid to a special referee or arbitrator to whom any matter is referred under an order of the High Court under this Act shall be determined by the High Court.

32. Savings for the Government.

Nothing in this Act relating to inquiries and trials by referees or arbitrators shall—

empower the High Court to order any proceedings to which the Government is a party or any question in any such proceedings to be tried before any referee, arbitrator or officer of the High Court without the consent of the Attorney General; or

affect the law as to costs payable by the Government.

PART VI—REMEDIES.

33. General provisions as to remedies.

The High Court shall, in the exercise of the jurisdiction vested in it by the Constitution, this Act or any written law, grant absolutely or on such terms and conditions as it thinks just, all such remedies as any of the parties to a cause or matter is entitled to in respect of any legal or equitable claim properly brought before it, so that as far as possible all matters in controversy between the parties may be completely and finally determined and all multiplicities of legal proceedings concerning any of those matters avoided.

34. Prerogative writ of habeas corpus.

The High Court—

(a) may, at any time, where a person is deprived of his or her personal liberty otherwise than in execution of a lawful sentence (or order) imposed on that person by a competent court, upon complaint being made to the High Court by or on behalf of that person and if it appears by affidavit made in support of the

complaint that there is a reasonable ground for the complaint, award under the seal of the court a writ of habeas corpus ad subjiciendum directed to the person in whose custody the person deprived of liberty is; and when the return is made, the judge before whom the writ is returnable shall inquire into the truth of the facts set out in the affidavit and may make any order as the justice of the case requires; (b) may award a writ of habeas corpus ad test testificandum or habeas corpus ad respondendum for bringing up any prisoner detained in any prison before any court, a court-martial, an official or special referee, an arbitrator or any commissioners acting under the authority of any commission from the President for trial or, as the case may be, to be examined touching any matter to be inquired into by or pending before a court, a court-martial, an official or special referee, an arbitrator or the commissioners.

35. Appeal for habeas corpus.

Any person aggrieved by an order made under section 34 may appeal from the decision to the Court of Appeal within thirty days after the making of the order appealed from whether the order has been made in the exercise of the civil or criminal jurisdiction of the High Court.

36. Prerogative orders.

(1) The High Court may make an order, as the case may be, of—

mandamus, requiring any act to be done;

prohibition, prohibiting any proceedings or matter; or

certiorari, removing any proceedings or matter to the High Court.

No order of mandamus, prohibition or certiorari shall be made in any case in which the High Court is empowered, by the exercise of the powers of review or revision contained in this or any other enactment, to make an order having the like effect as the order applied for or where the order applied for would be rendered unnecessary.

No return shall be made to any order made under this section, and no pleadings in prohibition shall be allowed; and subject to any right of appeal, the order shall be final.
(4) In the case of an application for an order of certiorari to remove any judgment, order, decree, conviction or other proceeding for the purpose of its being quashed, leave shall not be granted unless the application for leave is made not later than six months after the date of the proceedings or such shorter period as may be prescribed by law; and where the proceeding is subject to appeal, and a time is limited by law for the bringing of the appeal, the court or judge may adjourn the application for leave until the appeal is determined or the time for appealing has expired.

37. Mandamus, etc. by interlocutory order.

The High Court may grant an order of mandamus or an injunction or appoint a receiver by an interlocutory order in all cases in which it appears to the High Court to be just or convenient to do so.

An order may be made under this section unconditionally or on such terms and conditions as the High Court thinks just.

38. Injunctions.

The High Court shall have power to grant an injunction to restrain any person from doing any act as may be specified by the High Court.

Where an injunction is granted restraining any person from acting in any office in which he or she is not entitled to act, the High Court may declare the office to be vacant.

Where before, at or after the hearing of any cause or matter, an application is made for an injunction to prevent a threatened or apprehended waste or trespass, an injunction may be granted, if the High Court thinks fit—

whether or not the person against whom the injunction is sought is in possession under any claim of title or claims a right to do the act sought to be restrained under any colour of title; and

whether the estates claimed by the parties or any of the parties are legal or equitable.

PART VII—PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE OF COURTS.
39. Practice and procedure.

(1) The jurisdiction vested in the High Court by the Constitution, this
Act or by any other enactment shall be exercised in accordance with the practice and procedure provided by this or any other enactment or by such rules and orders of the court as may be made or existing under this Act or any other enactment.

(2) Where in any case no procedure is laid down for the High Court by any written law or by practice, the court may, in its discretion, adopt a procedure justifiable by the circumstances of the case.

40. Rules Committee.

(1) There shall be a Rules Committee consisting of—

the Chief Justice as chairman;

the Attorney General;

the Deputy Chief Justice;

the Principal Judge;

two other members who shall be practising advocates representing the Uganda Law Society, nominated by that Society; and

the director of the Law Development Centre.

(2) The Rules Committee may regulate its own procedure.

41. Functions of the Rules Committee.

(1) The Rules Committee may, by statutory instrument, make rules for regulating the practice and procedure of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the High Court of Uganda and for all other courts in Uganda subordinate to the High Court.

(2) Without prejudice to the general application of subsection (1), the Rules Committee may make rules of court under that subsection for—

regulating the sittings of the High Court and of its judges in court or in chambers;

regulating vacations and hearings during vacations by judges of the High Court of all such applications as may be required to be immediately or promptly heard;

prescribing what part of the business which may be transacted or the jurisdiction which may be exercised by judges of the High Court may be transacted or exercised by registrars or other officers of the court;

regulating the issue, signature, service, and enforcement of service, of summonses, notices, warrants and other processes;

regulating and prescribing the method of pleading, practice and procedure of the court, including all matters connected with forms to be used and fees to be paid;

regulating the procedure in suits by way of counterclaim and valuation of such suits for the purposes of jurisdiction;

regulating the consolidation of suits, appeals and other proceedings;
(h) regulating the means by which particular facts may be proved in

or in connection with, or at any stage of, any proceedings in the

High Court and the mode in which all particular facts may be

given in or in connection with, or at any stage of, any such
proceedings; (i) prescribing forms and the manner of keeping, and the custody,

disposal or destruction of court records, including records of
evidence in court, archives and exhibits; (j) regulating the procedure in claims by a defendant for contribution
or indemnity against any person whether a party to the suit or not; (k) regulating the summary procedure for the recovery of debts,
liquidated damages or immovable property; (l) regulating the procedure of originating summons; (m) regulating the procedure for the grant of probate and letters of

administration and for securing the due administration of estates,

including requiring the filing of accounts by administrators of
estates; (n) regulating the ascertainment of values of estates; (o) regulating the payment, receipt, accounting and custody of fines,
fees and deposits received by the court; (p) regulating and prescribing the scales of fees and allowances or

expenses payable to parties, witnesses, assessors, interpreters and
other persons engaged in proceedings before the court; (q) regulating the procedure in garnishee and charging orders, either

in addition to or in substitution for the attachment and sale of
property; (r) regulating and prescribing the procedure of appeals to the High

Court or transfers of proceedings from magistrates courts to the
High Court or from the High Court to magistrates courts; (s) regulating any matter relating to the cost of proceedings in the
High Court; (t) regulating the arrest of absconding debtors and the giving of

security for their release;
(u)

regulating or prescribing the maintenance and custody, while

under attachment, of livestock and other movable property, the

fees payable for such maintenance and custody, the sale of such

livestock and property and proceeds of the sale;
(v) (w)

(x)

(y)

regulating and prescribing the functions of officers of the court;

prescribing and regulating the appointment and functions of court

brokers and other agents of the court, their fees and expenses;

regulating and prescribing the duties and procedure of referees

and arbitrators;

regulating anything for the purpose of carrying into effect the

provisions and principles of this Act in relation to the courts.

Rules made under this section relating to fees, charges, allowances and other financial matters shall be made only with the concurrence of the Minister responsible for finance.

Rules of court made under this section shall apply to all proceedings by or against the State.

An instrument made under this section shall be laid before Parliament and be subject to annulment by Parliament and shall cease to have effect when so annulled but without prejudice to anything done under it or the making of a further instrument.

42. Chief Justice to make rules of court relating to prerogative orders.
(1) court— (a)

(b)

(c)

(d)
The Chief Justice may by statutory instrument make rules of

prescribing the procedure to be followed in applications and awards of a writ of habeas corpus under section 34; prescribing the procedures and fees payable on documents filed or issued in cases where an order of mandamus, prohibition or certiorari is sought;
requiring, except in such cases as may be specified in the rules, that leave shall be obtained before an application is made for any order referred to in paragraph (b);
requiring that where leave is obtained, no relief shall be granted and no ground relied upon, except with the leave of the court, other than the relief and grounds specified when the application for leave was made.
(2) Subject to section 36(4), rules made under subsection (1) may provide that applications for an order of mandamus, prohibition or certiorari shall, in specified proceedings, be made within six months or such shorter period as may be prescribed after the act or omission to which the application for leave relates.

PART VIII—MISCELLANEOUS.

43. Officers of courts.

There shall be such officers of the courts of judicature as may be necessary for the performance of any special duties in connection with the business of the courts of judicature, and such officers shall include the chief registrar, registrars, deputy registrars and assistant registrars.

Subject to article 133 of the Constitution, the officers of the courts of judicature shall perform such duties as may be assigned to them under the rules of court and shall be subject to the general direction and supervision of the Chief Justice.

44. Seals of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Court.

As required by article 8 of the Constitution, the seals of the Supreme Court and the High Court in use immediately before the coming into force of the Constitution shall continue in use for the Supreme Court and the High Court respectively.

There shall be a Court of Appeal seal bearing the style of the court and such device as the Deputy Chief Justice may, in consultation with the Chief Justice, approve.

The Chief Justice shall be the custodian of the Supreme Court seal and may—

assign the custody of the Supreme Court seal or a duplicate of it to the Deputy Chief Justice or a justice of the Supreme Court;

give directions, subject to this section, as to the manner in which the Supreme Court seal shall be kept and used.

(4) The Deputy Chief Justice shall be the custodian of the Court of Appeal seal and may—

assign the custody of that seal or a duplicate of it to a justice of the Court of Appeal; and

give directions, subject to this section, as to the manner in which the seal shall be kept and used.

(5) The Principal Judge shall be the custodian of the High Court seal
and may—

assign the custody of the High Court seal or a duplicate of it to a judge of the High Court;

give directions subject to this section, as to the manner in which the seal shall be kept and used.

Any seal to which this section relates shall be used for all purposes for which it may be required under any written law.

Nothing in this section shall affect the validity of any documents lawfully sealed before the coming into force of this Act.

45. Process and execution.

The process of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the High Court in the exercise of their jurisdiction under this Act and of any other jurisdiction conferred upon them shall run throughout Uganda.

Any order or judgment of the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal given in the exercise of their jurisdiction under this Act, may be executed and enforced as if it were an order or a judgment of the High Court.

46. Protection of judicial officers.

A judge or commission or other person acting judicially shall not be liable to be sued in any civil court for any act done or ordered to be done by that person in the discharge of his or her judicial functions whether or not within the limits of his or her jurisdiction.

An officer of the court or other person bonded to execute any order or warrant of any judge or person referred to in subsection (1) acting judicially, shall not be liable to be sued in any civil court in respect of any lawful or authorised act done in the execution of any such order or warrant.

Subject to article 254 of the Constitution, when a justice of the
Supreme Court or a justice of the Court of Appeal or a judge of the High Court is appointed on pensionable terms, he or she shall become eligible for pension on completion of one year of service or in accordance with the Pensions Act, whichever is the sooner.

47. Certain Acts of the United Kingdom to continue to apply.

The provisions of the Acts of the Parliament of the United Kingdom specified in Part I of the First Schedule to this Act as amended prior to the 11th August, 1902, shall continue to apply to and have effect within Uganda subject to the adaptations and modifications set out in Part II of that Schedule.

The provisions of the Statute of the Parliament of the United Kingdom specified in Part I of Second Schedule to this Act shall apply to the High Court subject to modifications and adaptations set out in Part II of that Schedule.

48. Savings.

(1) Without prejudice to the general application of section 12 of the Interpretation Act, notwithstanding the repeal of the Judicature Act, 1967—

until rules of court are made by the Rules Committee to regulate the practice and procedure of the Supreme Court, any rules of court applicable to the former Supreme Court immediately before the coming into force of the Constitution shall apply to the Supreme Court subject to such modifications as the Chief Justice may direct in writing;

subject to rules of court made under this Act, any rules of court applicable to the former Supreme Court immediately before the coming into force of the Constitution shall apply to the Court of Appeal with such modifications as the Chief Justice may direct in writing;

subject to rules of court made under this Act, any rules of court applicable to the High Court immediately before the coming into force of the Constitution in the exercise of its jurisdiction as a constitutional court shall apply to the constitutional court subject to such modifications as the Chief Justice may direct in writing;

subject to rules of court made under this Act, any rules of court applicable to the High Court immediately before the coming into force of the Constitution shall, subject to article 273 of the

Constitution, apply to the High Court.

(2) In subsection (1), “rules of court” includes any rules howsoever called regulating the practice and procedure of a court immediately before the coming into force of the Constitution.

SCHEDULES

First Schedule.

s. 47.

Certain Acts of the United Kingdom to continue to apply.

Part I.

 

Session and chapter
Short title
Provisions which apply
12 and 13 Vict. c. 96.
Admiralty Offences (Colonial) Act, 1849
The whole Act
37 and 38 Vict. c. 94.
Conveyancing (Scotland) Act, 1874
Section 51
57 and 58 Vict. c. 60.
Merchant Shipping Act, 1894
Part XIII

Part II.

The provisions set out in this Schedule shall apply to Uganda as if there were substituted for the references in them to—

a British Colony or Possession, references to Uganda;

the Government of a British Colony or Possession, references to the Minister;

a Superior or Supreme Court, a Magistrate or Justice of the Peace of a British Colony or Possession and in the case of the Conveyancing (Scotland) Act, 1874, to a Court of Probate in a Colony, references to the High Court.

Second Schedule.

s. 47.

Adaptation of United Kingdom Statute in application to Uganda.

Part I.

 

Session and chapter
Short title
Provisions which apply
53 and 54 Vict. c. 27.
Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act, 1890.
Sections 2(2), (3) and (4) (other than paragraph (c) of the proviso to subsection (3), 5, 6 and 16(3)).

Part II.

The provisions of the Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act, 1890, specified in Part I of this Schedule shall apply as if Uganda were referred to in them in place of a British Possession and as if the High Court were referred to in place of Colonial Admiralty.

Paragraph (b) of the proviso to section 2(3) shall have effect as if the High Court had been duly authorised to exercise jurisdiction under the Naval Prize Act, 1864, and otherwise in relation to prize.

Section 6 shall have effect subject to this Act.

History: Statute 13/1996.

Cross References

Admiralty Offences (Colonial) Act of the United Kingdom, 1849.
Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act of the United Kingdom, 1890.
Constitution of 1995.
Conveyancing (Scotland) of the United Kingdom Act, 1874.
Interpretation Act, Cap. 3.
Judicature Act, 1967.
Merchant Shipping Act of the United Kingdom, 1894.
Pensions Act, Cap. 286.
Trial on Indictments Act, Cap. 23.