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Uganda's 'repressive' policing law slammed

Publish date: 31 March 2020
Issue Number: 4908
Diary: Legalbrief Today
Category: Constitutional

One of Uganda's most contentious laws has come under fire by that country's Constitutional Court. A particularly repressive section giving the police power to prohibit all public gatherings and protest has been declared unconstitutional and the court's majority took the opportunity to criticise the way police hound and harass any political gathering not called by the ruling party, writes Carmel Rickard in her A Matter of Justice column on the Legalbrief site. In his sharp rebuke of lawmakers and the Attorney-General, one of the Constitutional Court judges, Justice Kenneth Kakuru, said the Public Order Management Act had become an 'instrument of political oppression'. 'It criminalises legitimate political dissent ... . It goes further to curtail and criminalise the legitimate acts of the press and media ... It has criminalised membership of political opposition and others considered by the police as being undesirable elements of society. This is neither a legitimate nor a legal purpose of law.'

A Matter of Justice