Constitutional Interpretation

Zachary Olum & Anor v Attorney General ((CIVIL APPLICATION NO.1/04)) [2004] UGCA 12 (29 July 2004);


Search Summary: 

The applicants filed Constitutional petition in court seeking
declarations that section 14 of Parliament (Powers and Privileges)
Act was unconstitutional and contravened certain provisions of the
Constitution. The petition was determined in favour of the
applicants who filed a bill of costs in this court for taxation. The
learned taxing officer in his ruling awarded them the sum of money
and being dissatisfied with the award, they filed the instant

Headnote and Holding: 

The court observed a principle that the appellate court is not
allowed to interfere with the exercise of discretion of the lower
court unless it is shown that it acted on a wrong principle and that
the determination of costs has no mathematical formula but
depends on the circumstances. The court considered the amount of
time spent in prosecuting the petition was quite short. The petition
was not complicated and the numbers of authorities cited were
quite few. However, the nature of the petition was novel and a
historical precedent was established. The applicants were entitled to
a reasonable figure and found that the award by the taxing officer
was manifestly too low in the circumstances of the case.
The court increased the award.


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