Ssemanda Alex Burton v Uganda - High Court Miscellaneous Criminal Application No. 157 of 1999 (High Court Miscellaneous Criminal Application No. 157 of 1999 ) [2000] UGHC 1 (19 January 2000);


Search Summary: 

This was an application for bail pending trial. The accused was indicted and committed to the High Court for trial.

The grounds of the application are the accused had been on remand for 21 months and that his projects were at a risk of substantial losses.

The accused contends that his right to a fair and speedy trial has been infringed given that there had been six sessions of the high court and there was another ongoing yet his case had not been listed for hearing.

The defence argued that the applicant had not stated the law under which the application was being argued and that the applicant had not shown the exceptional circumstances in line with s 14 of the Trial on Indictments Act.

Headnote and Holding: 

The court noted that indeed the applicant had not shown exceptional circumstances but that that was not the end of the matter. That s 14 of the Act was not mandatory and that the court reserved the discretion to determine whether in the circumstances of that case exceptional circumstances would be required for consideration of release of an applicant on bail.

The court held that when the applicant has one of his constitutional rights infringed or threatened, he cannot be without remedy.  He would be released on condition.


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