Age Limit Appeal Judgment to be Delivered Thursday – Supreme Court


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The Supreme Court will Thursday deliver its judgment on an appeal filed by city lawyer, Male Mabirizi Kiwanuka and others, challenging the Presidential age limit judgment by the Constitutional Court last year.

Supreme Court Deputy Registrar Monday issued a notice to all age limit appellants including lawyer Male Mabirizi, MP Gerald Karuhanga and four others and Uganda Law Society, notifying them that judgment of this appeal has been fixed for April 18 at 10am.

In January this year, a panel of seven Supreme Court justices led by Chief Justice Bar Katureebe commenced the hearing of the consolidated Constitutional appeal after High Court in July 2017 upheld the parliamentary Constitutional amendment by Parliament.

All the 5 High Court judges except Justice Kenneth Kakuru ruled that MPs constitutionally amended article 102(b) to remove upper presidential age limit, but unanimously ruled that the reinstatement of presidential term limits and extension of MPs’ tenure from 5 to 7 years was unconstitutional.

Related: Inside Justice Barishaki’s Ruling on the Age Limit Amendments

In July 2018, Mabirizi filed an appeal in which he said it was wrong for the High court to uphold the amendment which was marred by a number of irregularities.

He was part of the consolidated petition filed earlier this year to challenge the legality of the amendments which among others repealed the Presidential age limit.

Mabirizi further stated that in its hearing of the petition and delivering the judgment, court fell short of fairness, truth and was contradictory.

“The gist of my appeal is that the petitioners were not given a fair hearing. In addition, the ruling was full of falsehoods and contradictions. You can not say that the security raided Parliament, mistreated MPs but at the same time say the process was lawful,” Mabirizi said.

He also says that the Justices of the Constitutional Court errored in law by failing to consider that the Electoral Commission did not hold a referendum as required before scrapping the Presidential age limit from the Constitution.

Majority of the Justices of the Constitutional court had ruled that a referendum was not mandatory since the amendments were passed by MPs who are by law elected to legislate on behalf of Ugandans.

But Mabirizi contended that; “Under our laws, a President ascents to a law in a whole, not in part. The Constitutional court is saying that there was need for a referendum for MPs to extend their term, but that there was no need for a referendum for the age limit”.

 

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