Babcon Uganda Limited v Mbale Resort Hotel Ltd (CIVIL APPEAL NO. 06 OF 2016) [2017] UGSC 10 (5 May 2017);


Search Summary: 

The appellant was dissatisfied with the
decision and orders of the court of appeal
hence this appeal on the grounds of the right of
appeal from the orders under arbitration and
conciliation, reliance on the commission of
inquiry report, decision to set aside the
decision of the high court.
The background is that the appellant had a
contract to construct an annex to the existing
Mbale Resort. The construction wasn’t
complete and the matter was referred to
arbitration and several orders and awards were
made. The arbitral award was contested and at
appeal, an objection on a point of law was
raised that there was no right of appeal as the
award arose out of arbitration.

Headnote and Holding: 

The appellant sought to appeal the decision of the appellate court where that court held that the appeal before it was incompetent and thereafter set aside the High Court’s ruling and replaced it with a dismissal order.

Due to an objection on a point of law raised, the court had to consider whether the high court was exercising original jurisdiction in accordance to legislation and whether a dissatisfied party had automatic right of appeal to the Supreme Court.

The court held the High Court was not exercising original jurisdiction (acting as a court of first instance) when hearing the appellant’s case and that there was no automatic right of appeal to the Supreme Court.
By analysing existing legislation, the court could not accept the contentions of the appellant that the High Court was exercising original jurisdiction. The court was of the view that since the appeal did not fall within the purview of legislation, the appellant did not have automatic right to appeal before the Supreme Court.

Accordingly, the objection was upheld, and the appeal dismissed with costs. The court did, however, consider the other grounds of appeal but they all failed. 


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