Case Laws

2016Muyema v FacebookSocial MediaHigh Court of IrelandAnonymous Facebook user "TVO" posted 3 articles about Muyema on Facebook in March 2016. TVO was a frequent commenter on Ugandan politics. Muyema alleged TVO had defamed him because the posts "falsely" accused him of accepting bribes, staging a break in, and being surrounded by armed forces. The Court ruled in favor of Muyema in stating that Facebook must reveal the identity of TVO. However, the Court ruled that Facebook was not required to remove third-party content or prevent its reposting. Read More
2014Charles Onyango Obbo and Andrew Mujuni Mwenda v AG of Uganda False NewsConstitutional Court of Uganda No longer illegal to print false newsUganda Penal Code Section 50 found void and inconsistent with Art 29(1)(a) of the Uganda ConstitutionRead More
2017 (ongoing)Ronald Ssembuusi v AG of UgandaCriminal Defamation LawsEast African Court of JusticeTo be determined: Is Uganda's criminal defamation law inconsistent with the EACT? Pending - Applicant argues Uganda Penal Code Cap.120 § 179-180 is in violation of Art 6(d) and 7(2) of the East African Community TreatyRead More
2010Andrew Mwenda v AG of UgandaSedition LawConstitutional Court of Uganda Uganda Penal Code Section 39(1)(a) and 40(1)(a) found void and inconsistent with Art 29(1)(a) (freedom of expression) and Art 43(2)(c) (justifiable in a free and democratic society) of the Uganda ConstitutionRead More
2014Uganda Court Reporters Association v AG of UgandaReporters in the courtroom High Court of UgandaMagistrate Court of Uganda ordered in-camera proceedngs, which to kept journalists and members of the general public out of the courtroom during the trial of a police officer accused of leaking senstive recordings regarding the relationship of the President and the former Prime Minister;High Court overturned decision by the Magistrate Court, ruling that in-camera proceedings equated to a limitation imposed on the media that was not objectively verified, neither justified nor necessary; public retrial with journalists present in Court ordered Read More
2014Nabagesera v AG of UgandaFreedom of Assembly and AssociationHigh Court of UgandaUgandan Minister of Ethics and Integrity shut down a LGBT workshop. Actions of Minister to close workshop were upheld. Ugandans have the right to disseminate and express opinions within the law, but protection of unpleasant or controversial, false or wrong speech does not extend to protecting the expression that promotes illegal acts which in itself are prohibited. "the exercise of individual rights can be validly restricted in the interest of the wider public as long as the restriction does not amount to political persecution and is justifiable and acceptable in a free and democratic society." Read more
2014Professor J. Oloka Onyango v AG of UgandaChallenge to Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2014Constitutional Court of Uganda The law was challenged because it criminalized free discussion, public debate and sharing of information pertaining to homosexuality. By nullifying the law based on a technicality, the court did not address the merits of the case as they relate to the freedom of expression. Anti-Homosexuality Act nullified for procedural reasons (passed without a quorum)Read More
2017 (ongoing)Centre for Public Interest Law, Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda & East Africa Media Institute v AG of UgandaChallenge to Press and Journalist Act Cap 105Constitutional Court of Uganda Applicants argue the Act is in violation of Art 29 of the Constitution of Uganda; Part V, VI, and VII of the Act criminalizes the practice of journalism without a practicing certificate issued by a statutory body under the control of the Minister of InformationPendingRead More
2017 (ongoing)HRNJ, East Africa Media Institute v AG of Uganda Challenge to Uganda Communications Act Constitutional Court of Uganda Applicants argue that various sections of the Act are in violation of Art 29 of the Constitution of Uganda in that it grants overly broad authority and power to regulate the dissemination of informaiton through the media to the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology; applicants also argue that the Act contravenes the Declaration of Principles of Freedom of Expression in Africa PendingRead More
2010Andrew Mwenda v AG of UgandaSectarianism Constitutional Court of Uganda Applicant challenged Uganda Penal Code Section 41 as inconsistent with Art 29(1)(a) (freedom of expression) and Art 43(2)(c) (justifiable in a free and democratic society) of the Uganda ConstitutionThe Court ruled in favor of the State, which argued that Section 41 had the purpose of protecting social harmony and public order in UgandaRead more
2017 (ongoing)Human Rights Network Uganda v AG of UgandaChallenge to the Public Order Management Act of 2013Constitutional Court of Uganda The Act reintroduced portions of the Police Act, which had been overturned as unconstitutional in 2005. Article 5 of the Act stipulates that organisers of public gatherings must give at least three days notice with onerous levels of details or can be shutdown and held liable if they fail to give sufficient notice or adhere to conditions of the Act.Pending
2011Francis Tumwekwasize, Timothy Sibasi and Ibrahim Sadik v AG of UgandaDenial of access to the scene of a newsworthy eventHigh Court of Uganda at KampalaThe judge ruled that the denial of access of the journalists to the stadium amounted to a breach of their freedom as journalists to inform the public as to the sanitary condition of the Stadium at the time. The judge awarded the applicants USD7,500 each in damages, stating that this amount would “meet the ends of justice, especially in an environment where complaints of Police Constables being trigger-happy are on the increase. Journalists must be protected rather than harassed”. (Note the case against Sadik was dismissed for lack of evidence) 1. Whether the applicants were assaulted, battered and molested by the respondent's agents? Yes (1st and 2nd respondent)
2. Whether the acts complained of amounted to a breach of the applicants' freedom of the Press? Yes
3. Whether the acts complained of amounted to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment? Yes
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