Constitutional Interpretation

Foundation For Human Rights Initiatives Vs Attorny General (CONSTITUTIONAL APPEAL NO. 03 OF 2009.) [2018] UGSC 46 (26 October 2018);


Search Summary: 

The appellant filed this appeal challenging the
Judgment of the Constitutional Court in
Constitutional Petition No. 20 of 2006 wherein
Court found, among others, that sections 14(2),
15(1), 15(2) of the Trial on Indictments Act
and section 75(2) of the Magistrates Courts Act
did contravene the Constitution. The
background is that appellant challenged the
impugned sections for allegedly infringing on
the right and freedom to liberty as it seemed to
set different standards for the grant of bail and
restraints from release from detention. The
attorney general conceded some but denied
some hence this appeal.

Headnote and Holding: 

The court held that
when section 14(2) of the TIA is read together
with the provisions of Articles 28, 44 and 274
of the Constitution as elaborated above, it is
clear that section 14 (2) is not inconsistent with
the provisions of Article 28(1) of the
Constitution. That whereas Court is supposed
to bear in mind the rights of an accused person
when considering his or her bail application,
Court should not lose sight of the needs and
interests of society to prevent and punish
crimes committed within its midst. That that a
Magistrate’s Court does not have the
jurisdiction to try them. It would therefore
follow that since the jurisdiction to try these
offences is vested in the High Court, then the
power to grant bail in respect of these offences

was also rightly vested in the High Court by
section 75(2). Section 75 (2) of the MCA 10
therefore rightly excluded these offences from
those over which Magistrate Courts have
power to grant bail. That


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