Comparative law and justice/Uganda

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Part of the Comparative law and justice Wikiversity Project 19:36, 9 February 2010 (UTC) Dscott 19:47, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Basic Information

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Uganda is the eighty-est largest country by landmass[1] and ranked thirty seventh in population[2] located on the shores of Lake Victoria in east Africa. Its border countries are Democratic Republic of the Congo (765 km), Kenya (933 km), Rwanda (169 km), Sudan (435 km), Tanzania (396 km)[3] The total landmass of Uganda is two hundred, thirty six thousand, forty square miles.[4] Uganda geological features are marked by many mountains and rivers throughout the country. The eastern and western boarders are marked by the Ruwenzori Mountains (often called the Mountains of the Moon) which forms about eighty kilometers of the border between Uganda and Zaire.[5] The Ruwenzori Mountains are snow capped at the highest peaks of Mount Stanley. Uganda is also has the presence of volcanic hills. The current environmental issues in Uganda is draining of wetlands for agricultural use; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; poaching is widespread.[6] The country is located on the Equator but has a tropical climate. About 6.2% of the land is covered by rain forest. Its cash crops consist of timber plus tea, coffee, tobacco and cotton.

The total population of Uganda is 32,369,558 as of 2009. [7] The capital of Uganda is Kampala. Kampala is also the largest city with the population of 1,420,200 (2008 estimate)Uganda is ranked one of the 20 poorest countries in the world with half of its country below poverty level.

Uganda had many religions throughout the country. Christianity takes up about 85.1% of the population with 41.9% of it is Catholic. Islam takes up about 12.1% of the population. Judaism consist of about 1,100 people in the population. Population is not to aware of the Jewish presence. Hinduism takes up about .7% of the population and it is under classification "Non-Christians". Baha'i Faith is a new found religion that started in 1951 and continues to grow.

Brief History

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In 1875 the explorer Henry Stanley reached Uganda.[8] At that time Uganda was divided into Kingdoms. Catholics, Protestants and Muslims all tried to convert the Ugandans.The colonial boundaries created by Britain to delimit Uganda grouped together a wide range of ethnic groups with different political systems and cultures. These differences prevented the establishment of a working political community after independence was achieved in 1962. The dictatorial regime of Idi AMIN (1971-79) was responsible for the deaths of some 300,000 opponents; guerrilla war and human rights abuses under Milton OBOTE (1980-85) claimed at least another 100,000 lives. The rule of Yoweri MUSEVENI since 1986 has brought relative stability and economic growth to Uganda. During the 1990s, the government promulgated non-party presidential and legislative elections. In January 2009, Uganda assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2009-10 term.

Economic Development, Health, and Education

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Uganda has one of the worst healthcare records in the world, but the development of local facilities and training of volunteers will bring life-saving services to thousands of people in Katine.[9] Uganda is seen to be a developing country on the rise, which may explain why the health care portion lags behind most other country's. Total health expenditure as a percentage of GDP was 7.4% in 2002.[10]


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The country of Uganda has a presidential republic government, which means that the citizens of the country choose and elect their potential leaders that they want to govern them. The president is both head of state and head a government, its a multi-party system.[11]The system is based on a democratic parliamentary system with universal suffrage for all citizens over 18 years of age. Uganda has a constitution that was ratified in July 12, 1995; promulgated October 8, 1995.[12] The Uganda government just like the United States government consist of three branches. Uganda executive branch consists of the president, vice president, prime minister, cabinet. Legislative branch consists of the parliament. Judicial branch consists of the Magistrate's Court, High Court, Court of Appeals, Supreme Court.[13] In 1995, the government restored the legal system to one based on English common law and customary law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations.[14]


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Uganda provides national elections for the president and legislature. Unlike the United States, when a President is elected in Uganda they are elected to serve a five year term not a four year term. The current president of Uganda is Yoweri Museveni, which he was elected in February 2006. Museveni has been serving as president of Uganda since January 1986. The voting age in Uganda is 18.These elections are an important achievement in Uganda's return to multiparty democracy.[15]

Judicial Review

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Courts and Criminal Law

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The Judiciary is an independent organ of government entrusted to administer justice through courts of judicature including the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the High Court and other courts or tribunals established by Parliament.[16]The functions of the Judiciary are to adjudicate civil and criminal cases,interpret the Constitution and the laws and promote human rights, social justice and morality The courts are broken up into four different parts with the Supreme Court at the top and the Subordinate Courts at the bottom. The Supreme Court is established by Article 130 of the Constitution and stands out at the top of the judicial pyramid as a final Court of Appeal in Uganda.[17]The Chief Justice is the head of the Supreme Court


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There is capital punishment in Uganda but it is becoming increasingly unpopular. There is no law that has completely abolished capital punishment yet. The President of Uganda, President Museveni hasn't put any prisoner to death since 1999. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty and many groups want Uganda to ban it.

Murder in Uganda is not at the top of the crime rates chart but there are heavy consequences for it. The punishment for murder in Uganda is death. You will be hanged." said President Museveni. [18] Another heavy crime that can result to the death penalty is if anyone continues to practice female circumcision once it is banned. Especially if while being practiced the female dies during the practice. Since the Anti-Homosexuality Bill on 13 October 2009, anyone caught taking part in any sexual same sex activites will be sentenced to the death also.

The highest rate of crime in Uganda is Thefts. One example of punishment for this crime was the theft of a cow. The angry residents punished the suspected thieves by forcing them to eat raw meat and ordered them to pay sh700,000 for the cow.[19]

In Uganda, government authorities frequently employ torture against government opponents, ordinary civilians accused of supporting rebel groups, as well as suspected common criminals.[20]Victims have been severely beaten with rifle butts, sticks, electric cables and other objects.[21] A lot of torture takes place in Uganda, and a lot of it is done just because people feel like being cruel. Some types of torture many include the victim hands and legs tied behind them and even keeping them in holes dug out in the ground. These people may use harm to the victims penis and testicles. Denying this victims medical help makes it even worst.

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Law Enforcement

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The Uganda Police Force is the national police force of Uganda. Central police station-Kampala is the biggest police station in the country. It is located in the center of administrative Kampala.It is the headquarters of the new metropolitan police.

Crime Rates and Public Opinion

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Crimes in Uganda is very high and popular. Crimes in Uganda ranges from thefts all the way to terrorism. Crimes such as pick pocketing, purse snatching, and thefts from hotels and parked vehicles or vehicles stalled in traffic jams are common.[22] The most popular crime in Uganda with 32,958 reported in 2008 was thefts. Reported with only 4 cases in 2008 was terrorism. On the chart of crimes that take place in this country homicides is about number nine. It is not that come like a lot of other low level crimes. In 2008, the number of homicides reported and investigated was 2,753 compared to 1,927 cases in the year 2007.[23] A lot of the homicides that took place wasn't by shooting, which were 351 (reported in 2008). Death by other than shooting was 1,763 which is very surprising in a large country like this. You would think that in a country that is ranked one of the poorest countries in the world, there would be a lot of homicide because people are fighting just to survive(survival of the fittest)


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Homosexual Rights

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Homosexuality is currently illegal in the African nation Uganda. On October 13 2009 Uganda proposed an Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The bill introduced the death penalty by hanging for people who have previously been convicted, that is HIV positive or engage in homosexual acts with people under the age of 18.[24] The bill talks about if any Ugandans engage in any homosexual acts outside Uganda can be brought back to Uganda and be punished. In the bill it also threatens to imprison straight people who don’t report any suspected homosexual acts to the government. The bill even goes as far as convicting landlords if they rent out an apartment to a LGBT. This bill has made a lot of commotion. Outside countries government who help out Uganda are threatening to cut off financial aid because of this bill.

Family Law

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In Uganda, the age that men are allowed to marry is 18 years old. The legal age for women to marry is 18years old or when their father feel as though they are ready to marry.

The Islamic Law allows Muslim men to marry up to four wives.

Adoption in Uganda is legal even for people living outside the country. Any family or single parent is allowed to adopt any gender child. Immigrants are allowed to adopt to but they have to have Visas. Same sex couples are not allowed to adopt at all in Uganda. "Ugandan law places restrictions on the ability of foreign citizens to adopt Ugandan children. The Children’s Act states that a foreign citizen may, in exceptional circumstances, adopt a Ugandan child, if the foreigner has resided in Uganda for at least three years and if the foreigner has also fostered the child for 36 months. However, High Court judges have made some exceptions to these three-year residency and fostering requirements on a case-by-case basis if it was deemed in the best interests of the child."[25]

Ugandan High Court judges have also exercised discretion in approving legal guardianship decrees (which may permit the child to emigrate for full and final adoption abroad) in certain cases where the prospective adoptive parents were unable to meet the requirements for adoption in Uganda.

Social Inequality

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Human Rights

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Uganda continues to experience difficulty in advancing respect for human rights in matters concerning torture, child labor, and liberties.[26] Since 1962, Ugandans have suffered gross violation of human rights, including genocide, government sponsored violence, acts of elimination of elites, forced exiles and expulsions, imprisonment without trial, and denial of the other basic human rights.[27] Human rights violations by the Ugandan authorities include the imprisonment of 18 prisoners of conscience, the detention without charge or trial of civilians suspected of involvement in rebel activities, the administrative sentencing of 1,100 others for "desertion", the ill-treatment of prisoners in military custody, and extrajudicial executions.[28]

Women human rights are always violated in Uganda. Violated in the work force, in marriages, body mutilation, and in inheritance rights. In Uganda they are "trying" to up-lift and empower women in the work force but there is still a huge gap between men and women when it comes to job opportunities. Men always have first priority when it comes to job qualifications. Women are look at as baby manufacturers, and are always on leave,causing a loss to that company. In some cases women have to be sexual abused by men in order to get certain jobs. The jobs that the women do get are the low paying and low status jobs, as though they aren't worth the better jobs with the higher pay. Mostly all promotions go to the men because they are given the job training opportunities more then women are.

female circumcision an old trend is phasing out with reports of 0-1%. During this procedure, many women attract diseases due to the objects being used are not clean. The women are not giving any pain medicine so they endure severe pain. Some women even lost their lives to this practice.

Works Cited

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