THE STATE OF THE RULE OF LAW

President’s Foreword

The rule of  law is not just a matter for judges or lawyers,” said William H. Neukom, WJP founder and CEO. “It is the bedrock of communities of justice, opportunity, and peace. We are all stakeholders in the rule of law and therefore we all have a role to play in upholding it.

It is my utmost privilege and honor to present to you the first Uganda Law Society(ULS) Quarterly Rule of Law Report for the year 2020. Uganda Law Society has so far launched 12 reports since the commencement of this event in 2017.

The ULS Quarterly Rule of Law Reports are one of several interventions that the ULS has undertaken to uphold the Rule of Law as per the ULS Strategic Plan (2017-2021). In addition to this, the ULS has made several public interest interventions and engagements as well as launched several Rule of Law Clubs that have informed the Rule of Law.

The Rule of Law remains an important tenet for any society to thrive democratically, economically and socially.

Uganda like many young democracies continues to face challenges with the Rule of Law. Most of these challenges are fueled by individuals who have limited understanding of the need to follow and respect the law to the letter. There seems to be a detachment between the strict application of the law and the need to appease superiors with or without instructions.

The Uganda Law Society takes cognizance of these unfortunate occurrences that could best be avoided if the Rule of law was effectively applied. It is therefore in this same spirit that the ULS has continued to compile reports and document human rights violations such as this, as notice to justice stakeholders with a bid of making sure that excesses and violations are remedied.

We hope that these reports will contribute to the improvement of all aspects of the Rule of Law.

This report covers the quarterly period between January to March 2020 wherein it extensively highlights the current incidents affecting the rule of law in our country. These include; Breach of Economic Rights as well as other civil rights such as the right to life under the East African Community Law; violation of the right to standard health care which has seen an increase in death rates as patients often lack proper medical services; the violation of the right to privacy and data protection; the infringement of the freedom of assembly and association among others. The report additionally identifies concrete steps that may be taken to curtail the numerous violations of the rule of law.

We implore all stakeholders and actors to work together to ensure that we have an environment with a strict adherence to the Rule of Law and good governance. To my colleagues in the legal profession, fight for the Rule of Law and the same will take care of you.

In a special way, I thank the ULS Rule of Law Advisory Panel, the ULS Rule of Law Committee and the Secretariat for their input in the compilation of this report.

For God and My Country

SIM  ji    OBE