The Anti-Homosexuality Law, which was passed in May 2023, is being challenged in four petitions before Uganda’s Constitutional Court. The hearings are scheduled for December 11.
Date: The petitioners consented to combine all four petitions and all 19 applications submitted by various parties.
Several civil society organizations, Makerere University law professors Sylvia Tamale and Busingye Kabumba, veteran journalist Andrew Mwenda, Uganda’s deputy high commissioner to South Africa Kintu Nyango, and West Budama Northeast MP Fox Odoi are among the petitioners.
On November 28, Justice Geoffrey Kiryabwire, sitting alone as a judge of the Constitutional Court, accepted the attorney general’s request to consolidate all of the petitions.
We will complete in 2026 if we tackle each one individually. As soon as feasible, we must file the trial petition. I’m hoping for collaboration. I don’t see why there are four petitions when you are all aiming for the same law. Justice Kiryabwire declared, “I think it’s important to see the parties and find out if they are engaged in the case.”
Odoi, a former attorney general for President Yoweri Museveni, informed the court that they will follow its directives in order to merge the case with the other petitioners.
“All petitions should be merged based on the court’s directive and the parties’ cooperation, and the consent should be filed by Tuesday.” Additionally, the parties have promised not to change any of the four petitions during the trial or hearing, according to Justice Kiryabwire.
However, the court decided that it must first address an application from Pastor Martin Ssempa, who wishes to work with the attorney general to defend the Anti-Homosexuality Law, before hearing the main petition.
Complainants argue, among other things, that the Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023 violates Article 92 of the constitution because it modifies a 2014 Constitutional Court ruling that invalidated a legislation of a similar nature.
Rather than the 45 days allowed by parliamentary norms, the petitioners alleged the Act was passed in six days.
They also claim that there was insufficient and no significant public involvement when parliament passed the contentious measure on May 2.
“The terms of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023 are not contradictory with or in violation with the requirements of the Constitution, international treaties, covenants, and declarations,” stated the attorney general, who defends the government.
The legislation, according to government attorneys, does not change the Constitutional Court’s 2014 ruling since “the decision/judgment was based on the absence of quorum and did not go to the substance of the legislation.”
They went on to say that extensive consultations with the people and their representatives through written and oral memoranda preceded the parliament’s passage of the Act.