No Need for a Sports Tribunal, says AG Kiwanuka
The Attorney General, Kiryowa Kiwanuka says there is no need for the creation of a sports tribunal to determine sports disputes in the country.
He notes that such cases can be handled by the Court of Arbitration, under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act.
He said this while appearing before the Committee on Education and Sports on Wednesday, 25 January 2023.
The committee is meeting various stakeholders to harmonize provisions in the Physical Activity and Sports Bill, 2022 and the National Sports Bill, 2021.
According to the National Sports Bill, 2021, a Private Member’s Bill introduced by Hon. Moses Magogo (NRM, Budiope East County), clause 42 provides for the appointment of a tribunal to determine sports disputes.
Such disputes include those between the National Council of Sports and a national sports organization, a national sports organization and its members and national sports organizations.
The Attorney General observed that creating a special sports tribunal would take away resources available for the administration of justice.
“Government is looking forward to having different Courts of Appeal in different regions of the country with enough judges so that we decentralize dispensation of justice. Creating tribunals will limit our efforts,” Kiryowa Kiwanuka said.
He added that the creation of tribunals would add costs to the government in terms of administration compared to the number of cases it would receive.
“How many disputes do you have currently in sports? You are going to add on another cost yet the experts can come in, deal with the dispute and go away under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act,” the Attorney General added.
Kiwanuka also said the Minister for Sports should seek clearance from Cabinet on the creation of a Sports Disputes Tribunal, owing to the government policy halting the establishment of new agencies, boards and corporations.
The Uganda Law Society led by its President, Bernard Oundo justified the need for a sports tribunal noting that it creates specialisation in the legal field, which in turn provides for efficiency.
“Sports has unique international legislation that needs to be looked at. In London, we have seen a Construction Disputes Tribunal and Energy Disputes Tribunal notwithstanding that they have a permanent Court of Arbitration,” Oundo said.
The Committee Chairperson, Hon. John Twesigye observed that the Private Member’s Bill seeks to have a Sports Disputes Tribunal created so as to efficiently handle sports disputes and check on case backlog.
“They are saying that a tribunal will handle issues quickly and allow a sports person to move on with their sports activities. As a committee, we could not rule on how the process can be done, but we shall interrogate it further,” Twesigye said.
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