Uganda Law Society Condemns Justice Kavuma Over Besigye Injunction

Justice Stephen Kavuma

The Uganda Law Society has come out to condemn last week’s interim injunction by the Constitutional Court, cost barring the activities of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) under their “defiance campaign.”

The law society which unites over 2500 lawyers from across the country, visit this described the injunction issued by the Deputy Chief Justice Stephen Kavuma, as bent to undermine enjoyment of human rights and liberties.

Justice Kavuma upon being petitioned by the Attorney General, issued a 4 weeks injunction against FDC and its presidential candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye, agents and supporters, stopping them from engaging in demonstrations, public meetings, media campaigns as well as their weekly prayers, until the main application challenging the legality of the defiance campaign is determined.

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FDC has since defied this injunction and are slated today, to hold a mass demonstration across the country, in which they call for an independent review of last February’s elections.

In a statement issued by the Uganda Law Society yesterday, the lawyers expressed concern that the Court injunction was issued without allowing the respondents a chance to defend themselves, otherwise known as an ex-parte order.

The newly elected ULS President Francis Gimara noted in a statement, “Generally, courts are mandated to hear both parties in determination of civil rights and liberties.”

He added that Ex parte orders are granted under special circumstances where the delay caused by including all parties might entail irreparable damage or serious mischief.

Even lower courts, Gimara noted, are nowadays barred from issuing such orders.

This politically charged application by the Attorney General according to the law society has no justification whatsoever.

“We believe that no exceptional danger would have arisen from effecting service on the respondents… The executive council of the Uganda Law Society calls upon the judiciary not to lend itself to conduct that appears to undermine the enjoyment of human rights and freedoms.”

However, the ruling National Resistance Movement Lawyer Mr Kiryowa Kiwanuka defended the ex-parte order saying that was not issued against all the activities of the opposition party, but those linked to defiance. Defiance is disobedience, he noted.



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