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An Act to consolidate the law relating to the taking of oaths and for purposes connected therewith.
Commenced on 9 October 1963
[Up to date as at 31 December 2000]
[Note: This version of the Act was revised and consolidated by the Law Reform Commission of Uganda.]
1. Oaths to be taken
The oaths which shall be taken as occasion shall demand shall be the oaths set out in the First Schedule to this Act.
2. Officers to take oaths
A person appointed to an office set out in the second column of the Second Schedule to this Act shall take the oath specified in the first column of the Schedule which shall be administered by the authority specified in the third column of the Schedule.
3. Unnecessary repetition of oaths
(1)No person who has duly taken the Oath of Allegiance or the Judicial Oath in Uganda as provided in this Act shall be required again to take that oath on appointment to any other office or on any other occasion.(2)A person appointed to act in any office or capacity in the place of any other officer or person shall not be required to take any oath on the occasion of that appointment, unless the oath required to be taken in respect of that appointment is different from or in addition to any oath duly taken by that person in respect of any other appointment, permanent or temporary.
4. Omission to take oath or make affirmation
Nothing in this Act shall render, be deemed to render or be deemed to have rendered invalid any act done or which hereafter may be done by a public officer in the execution or intended execution of his or her official duties by reason only of the omission by the public officer to take any oath or to make any affirmation which the officer should take or should have taken or should make or should have made; except that any person who declines, neglects or omits to take the required oath or make the required affirmation under this Act shall—(a)if he or she shall have already entered on his or her office, be deemed to have vacated that office from the date of refusal; and(b)if he or she shall not have already entered on his or her office, be disqualified from entering on the office.
5. Form and manner in which oath may be taken
(1)Whenever any oath is required to be taken under the provisions of this or any other Act, or in order to comply with the requirements of any law in force for the time being in Uganda or any other country, the following provisions shall apply, that is to say, the person taking the oath may do so in the following form and manner—(a)he or she shall hold, if a Christian, a copy of the gospels of the four evangelists or of the New Testament, or if a Jew, a copy of the Old Testament, or if a Moslem, a copy of the Koran, in his or her uplifted hand, and shall say or repeat after the person administering the oath the words prescribed by law or by the practice of the court, as the case may be;(b)in any other manner which is lawful according to any law, customary or otherwise, in force in Uganda.(2)For the purposes of this section, where a person taking the oath is physically incapable of holding the required copy in his or her uplifted hand, he or she may hold the copy otherwise, or, if necessary, the copy may be held before him or her by the person administering the oath.
6. Place and date of oath
Every commissioner for oaths or notary public before whom any oath or affidavit is taken or made under this Act shall state truly in the jurat or attestation at what place and on what date the oath or affidavit is taken or made.
7. Absence of religious belief
Where an oath has been duly administered and taken, the fact that the person to whom it was administered had, at the time of taking the oath, no religious belief, shall not for any purpose affect the validity of the oath.
Any person who objects to the taking of an oath and desires to make an affirmation in lieu of the oath may do so without being questioned as to the grounds of that objection or desire, or otherwise; and in any such case the form of the required oath shall be varied by the substitution for the words of swearing, the words, “I solemnly, sincerely and truthfully affirm that ....”, and such other consequential variations of form as may be necessary shall thereupon be made; except that in any case where the Oath of Allegiance is taken, for the words “truthfully affirm” in this section there shall be substituted the words “truly declare and affirm”, and the words “So help me God” shall be omitted.
9. Persons under age
(1)Notwithstanding sections 1 to 8, if it appears to a court or officer before whom an oath other than a promissory oath is to be taken or affirmation other than a promissory affirmation is to be made that the person about to take the oath or make the affirmation ought not—(a)by reason of immature age; or(b)for any other sufficient cause,to be allowed to take the oath or make the affirmation as aforesaid, the court or officer may, if the court or officer in its or his or her free discretion so thinks fit, allow that person, in lieu of taking the oath or making the affirmation, to give evidence or make a declaration without oath or affirmation.(2)In any case falling within subsection (1), the court or officer shall enter in the minutes of the proceedings or on the instrument or document concerned, as the case may be, a note of the fact of the evidence or declaration having been given or made without oath or affirmation, and of the reasons therefor; except that if any person declining or objecting to take an oath shall, in the opinion of the court or officer, as the case may be, be competent to make an affirmation, that person shall, on the court or officer so directing him or her, thereupon make an affirmation as provided by section 8.
No person shall be convicted or judgment given upon the uncorroborated evidence of a person who shall have given his or her evidence without oath or affirmation.
11. Authority to administer oaths
(1)The Chief Justice, a judge of the High Court, the chief registrar of the High Court, a magistrate, a notary public and any commissioner for oaths may administer any lawful oath or take any lawful affirmation or affidavit which may be required to be taken or made for the purpose of complying with the requirements of this Act or of any law for the time being in force in Uganda or elsewhere, except where such procedure is expressly or by necessary implication manifestly excluded by the terms of such law as aforesaid; and the presumption shall be against any such exclusion.(2)The registrar of any court and the officer performing the duties of registrar in any court may, with the approval, and subject to the supervision and control of the person presiding over the court, administer or tender to any person about or intending to give evidence before that court any oath, affirmation, or declaration which that person may require or be required to make before that court.
12. Taking oaths out of Uganda
(1)Any oath or affidavit required for any court or matter in Uganda, or for the purpose of the registration of any instrument in any part of Uganda, may be taken or made in any place out of Uganda before any person having authority to administer an oath in that place.(2)In the case of a person having such authority otherwise than by the law of a country out of Uganda, judicial and official notice shall be taken of his or her seal or signature affixed, impressed or subscribed to or on any such oath or affidavit.
13. Powers of Uganda officials abroad
(1)Every Uganda official of the rank of secretary or above in a Uganda embassy or legation or consulate may in any country where he or she exercises his or her functions administer any oath and take any affidavit and also do any notarial act which any notary public can do within Uganda.(2)Any oath, affidavit and notarial act administered, sworn or done before any such person shall be as effectual as if duly administered, sworn or done by or before any lawful authority in any part of Uganda.(3)Any document purporting to have affixed, impressed or subscribed on it or to it the seal or signature of any person authorised by this section to administer an oath, in testimony of any oath, affidavit or act being administered, taken or done by or before him or her shall be admitted in evidence without proof of the seal or signature of that person, or of the official character of that person.
14. Additional oaths
(1)The President may in writing require the holder of any office to take or affirm the Judicial Oath or the Oath of Allegiance.(2)The President may by statutory instrument amend the First and Second Schedules to this Act and may by the same or any other statutory instrument make regulations providing that this Act shall apply in relation to persons who are not citizens of Uganda subject to such modifications as may be prescribed by the regulations.