Constitutional Interpretation

Attorney General v Nakibuule Gladys Kisekka (CONSTITUTIONAL APPEAL NO. 02 OF 2016.) [2018] UGSC 30 (11 July 2018);


Search Summary: 

This was an appeal against the decision of the
constitutional court that held that the
respondent had been wronged in being
subjected to judicial proceedings in matters
pertaining her duties as a judicial officer and
the lifting of her immunity.
The background is that as the registrar, she
issued a decree from a decision of a consent
judgment that was later recalled for after
finding other evidence. The decree holder
instituted the proceedings at the Judicial
Service Commission which was the issue in the
The appeal is grounded on the error of the
justices of the constitutional court in the award
of costs and the immunity of the judicial

Headnote and Holding: 

The court held that judicial immunity is not
applicable where a body constitutionally
intended to be a shield from public scrutiny.
Judicial independence and immunity do not
shield a judicial officer from accountability.
That in a democratic polity, it is inconceivable,
that any person, whether an individual or an
authority, exercises power without being
answerable for the exercise. Judicial

accountability like judicial independence has
thus come to be recognized as a bulwark of the
Rule of Law. That what constitutes abuse of
judicial authority is improper/ inappropriate
use of the power of a judicial office. This must
be differentiated from a judicial officer’s error
in law which can only be the subject of appeal.
That a judicial officer once notified of a
complaint lodged against them before the JSC
for abuse of judicial authority cannot answer
that call with the shield of judicial immunity.


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