Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Ugandan court-martial upholds jurisdiction over civilians

A Ugandan general court-martial has rejected a claim by a Member of Parliament and four others that the court lacks jurisdiction over them as civilians. Details here. Excerpt:
Nakawa MP, Mr Michael Kabaziguruka, and four others had challenged the jurisdiction of the military court to try them in connection with an alleged plot to overthrow the government. But this objection was dismissed with court chairman, Lt. Gen. Andrew Gutti ruling that Section 119 of the UPDF Act of 2005 empowers him to try civilian suspects. 
"... applicants were described as persons subject to military law by virtue of Section 119 (1) (g) UPDF Act. What this implies is that the applicants aided or abetted persons subject to military law to commit the offences charged," Lt. Gen. Gutti held in a ruling delivered in the absence of Mr Kabaziguruka.
Human right principles strongly disfavor the exercise of military jurisdiction over civilians.

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