Male Mabirizi, a lawyer, has gone to the High Court to oppose planned judicial reforms that would allow people convicted of capital crimes to be released on bond.
Cabinet recently authorized criminal justice reforms, including modifications to the 1995 Constitution and the Police Act, which will deny suspects on capital offenses bail or police bond, as well as those charged with murder, rape, robbery, and treason, among other things.
Mabirizi, on the other hand, has gone to the civil division of the High Court in Kampala to seek judicial review of the cabinet’s decision to abolish the right to bail and bond for suspects, claiming that it was done illegally and without due process.
According to the lawyer, the Attorney General, a minister, who took an oath to safeguard the Constitution, cannot launch a procedure to deprive people of their inherent human rights, and so the cabinet decision is invalid.
“In the circumstances, he (Attorney General) did not carry out appropriate stakeholder and public participation in coming up with the memoranda,” Mabirizi claims.
“The Cabinet, which swore to defend the Constitution, has no authority to propose, introduce, or transmit measures that might jeopardize fundamental human rights and freedoms.” In the circumstances, cabinet did not conduct reasonable stakeholder and public consultation before making the decision.”
The cabinet decisions on bail and bond for suspects, according to Mabirizi, are illegal since they were made improperly, arbitrarily, and unfairly.
The lawyer is requesting that the court issue an order quashing the cabinet’s decisions on bail and bond amendments under the Constitution and Police Act.
“A court order should be issued prohibiting Parliament or any Uganda government official or agency from dealing with implementing the Cabinet memorandum titled “Release on police bond or court bail proposing prohibition of bail for persons facing charges triable both by Magistrates and High Court or only by High Court and increasing the time spent in custody before being presented in Court from 48 hours to 48 business hours,” Mabirizi says.
The lawyer further requests that the court order a permanent injunction prohibiting Parliament or any Ugandan government official or agency from dealing with the cabinet decision’s implementation.
“The application is accepted since it is fair, equitable, and in the interest of defending fundamental human rights and freedoms,” he claims.