Major General David Tinyefuza v Attorney General ( (Ruling) (Constitutional Petition No.1 of 1996) ) [1997] UGCC 2 (5 March 1997);


Headnote and Holding: 

This appeal raises the question of admissibility of a document that was alleged to be a privileged document. The petitioner sought to have this document admitted as evidence, while the respondent argued that it should be excluded as the security of the state would be impaired. 

The petitioner argued that that if this document was excluded, his constitutional right to fair trial would be violated. He further claimed that if the security of the state would be impaired by such conduct. Section 23(2) of the Constitution allows the court to hear the matters that touch on the security of the state, away from the public. 

The respondent relied on s 121 of the Evidence Act. He claimed that this document relates to affairs of state and was therefore inadmissible without the consent of the head of department.

This court stated that when an act of Congress conflicts with constitutionally enshrined provisions; the Constitution prevails because it holds the paramount commands. Furthermore, it was held that the court that has the power to determine whether a matter falls within the exceptions or not. In order to do this, the state must produce evidence upon which the court can act. The state never did so.

The court examined the document in dispute and found it to relate to state security. However, the court overruled the respondent’s objection. The document was admitted as evidence in closed court.

Subscribe to RSS - Privilege