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Lawyer Mabirizi drags Chief Justice to court over age limit appeal judgment delay

City lawyer, Male Mabirizi has dragged  the Chief Justice and the Attorney General to court  for a mandamus order compelling them to deliver the age limit appeal judgment that he says has delayed.

After completion of the hearing session for the age limit appeal in January this year, the Chief Justice, Bart Katureebe said the Supreme Court would deliver its judgment on notice.

In his application to the civil division of the High Court in Kampala, Mabirizi seeks for an  order of mandamus  compelling  the Chief Justice of Uganda as the administrative head of the Judiciary and the Supreme Court of Uganda to give reasons for the delay .

“The Uganda Judicial Code of Ethics requires that where a judgment is reserved, it should be delivered within 60 days, unless for good reason, it is not possible to do so,” the lawyer says in his application.

“The sixty days from 16th January 2019 expired on 17th March 2019 with neither judgment delivered nor any reason advanced for the failure to do so within the prescribed time.”

Mabirizi argues that he requested for reasons for not delivering the judgment within 60 days as required by law but in response, the Supreme Court Deputy Registrar responded without giving a reason for failure.

“The deputy registrar responded to the applicant’s letter, without giving any reason for the delay, but merely stating that the judgment is being processed. The applicant insists that the above letter never contained any reason for failure to deliver Judgment within the mandatory sixty days and falls short of giving any such reasons.”

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Mabirizi now wants court to order the Chief Justice as the administrative head of the judiciary and the Supreme Court to immediately deliver the judgment.

“In alternative (to explaining the delay) an order of mandamus compelling the Chief Justice of Uganda to deliver the judgment should be issued. General damages for the inconveniences caused due to omissions of the respondents and costs of the application should be paid by the respondents,”Mabirizi says.

An order of mandamus is a judicial remedy in form of an order from court to any government, subordinate court, corporation or public authority to do some specific act which that body is obliged under the law to do.

Last year, the Constitutional Court sitting in Mbale in a 4:1 decision, upheld the scrapping of the presidential age limit clauses from the Constitution by Parliament  prompting a  group of three parties including the Uganda Law Society, lawyer Male Mabirizi and 6 opposition MPs led by Winnie Kiiza  to challenge  the decision before the Supreme Court.



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