- Commenced on 17 May 1996
- [This is the version of this document from 19 June 2020.]
- [Note: The version of the Act as at 31 December 2000 was revised and consolidated by the Law Reform Commission of Uganda. All subsequent amendments have been researched and applied by Laws.Africa for ULII.]
- [Amended by Judicature (Amendment) Act, 2002 (Act 3 of 2002) on 15 February 2002]
- [Amended by Judicature (Amendment) Act, 2011 (Act 9 of 2011) on 10 June 2011]
- [Amended by Administration of the Judiciary Act, 2020 (Act 8 of 2020) on 19 June 2020]
Part I – General
1. InterpretationIn this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
2. Order of precedence of judgesThe order of precedence among the justices of the Supreme Court, the justices of the Court of Appeal and the judges of the High Court shall be as follows—
Part II – The Supreme Court of Uganda
3. Supreme Court of UgandaThe Supreme Court shall consist of—
4. Jurisdiction of the Supreme CourtAn appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court from such decisions of the Court of Appeal as are prescribed by the Constitution, this Act or any other law.
5. Appeals to the Supreme Court in criminal matters
6. Appeals to the Supreme Court in civil matters
7. Supreme Court to have powers of the court of original jurisdictionFor the purposes of hearing and determining an appeal, the Supreme Court shall have all the powers, authority and jurisdiction vested under any written law in the court from the exercise of the original jurisdiction of which the appeal originally emanated.
8. Powers of a single justice of the Supreme Court
Part III – Court of Appeal of Uganda
9. Court of Appeal of UgandaThe Court of Appeal of Uganda shall consist of—
10. Jurisdiction of the Court of AppealAn appeal shall lie to the Court of Appeal from decisions of the High Court prescribed by the Constitution, this Act or any other law.
11. Court of Appeal to have powers of the court of original jurisdictionFor the purpose of hearing and determining an appeal, the Court of Appeal shall have all the powers, authority and jurisdiction vested under any written law in the court from the exercise of the original jurisdiction of which the appeal originally emanated.
12. Powers of a single justice of the Court of Appeal
Part IV – The High Court of Uganda
13. High Court of UgandaThe High Court of Uganda shall consist of—
14. Jurisdiction of the High Court
15. Customary law
16. Appellate jurisdiction of the High Court
17. Supervision of magistrates courts
Sittings, circuits, etc. of the High Court
18. Continuous sitting of the High CourtSubject to article 138(2) of the Constitution and this Act, and to rules of court, such number of judges of the High Court as may be requisite having regard to the business to be disposed of, shall, so far as is reasonably practicable and subject to vacations, sit continuously for the trial of civil and criminal causes.
19. High Court circuits
20. Distribution of business in the High Court
21. Sittings in court or in chambers
Part V – Provisions relating to certain trials
22. Trial of admiralty offencesWhere any person is charged with any offence committed on any vessel registered in Uganda upon the sea or any other waters outside the jurisdiction of the High Court, any public officer and the High Court shall have and exercise the same authority and jurisdiction for inquiring into, trying and determining such offence as by the law of Uganda would have been exercised if the offence had been committed upon any waters situated within Uganda.
23. Death following injuries inflicted at sea
24. Proctor for the State
25. Relief from reentry or forfeiture for nonpayment of rent
Inquiries and trials by referees, etc. and arbitrators
26. References to referees
27. Trial by referee or arbitratorWhere in any cause or matter, other than a criminal proceeding—
28. Powers of referees and arbitratorsIn all cases of reference to a referee or arbitrator under this Act, the referee or arbitrator shall be deemed to be an officer of the High Court and, subject to rules of court, shall have such powers and conduct the reference in such manner as the High Court may direct.
29. Statement of case pending arbitrationA referee or arbitrator may, at any stage of the proceedings under a reference, and shall, if so directed by the High Court, state in the form of a special case for the opinion of the High Court any question of law arising in the proceedings before him or her.
30. Power of court to impose terms as to costsAn order made under this Act relating to inquiries and trials by reference may be made on such terms as to costs as the High Court thinks fit.
31. Remuneration of referees and arbitratorsThe remuneration to be paid to a special referee or arbitrator to whom any matter is referred under an order of the High Court under this Act shall be determined by the High Court.
32. Savings for the GovernmentNothing in this Act relating to inquiries and trials by referees or arbitrators shall—
Part VI – Remedies
33. General provisions as to remediesThe High Court shall, in the exercise of the jurisdiction vested in it by the Constitution, this Act or any written law, grant absolutely or on such terms and conditions as it thinks just, all such remedies as any of the parties to a cause or matter is entitled to in respect of any legal or equitable claim properly brought before it, so that as far as possible all matters in controversy between the parties may be completely and finally determined and all multiplicities of legal proceedings concerning any of those matters avoided.
34. Prerogative writ of habeas corpusThe High Court—
35. Appeal for habeas corpusAny person aggrieved by an order made under section 34 may appeal from the decision to the Court of Appeal within thirty days after the making of the order appealed from whether the order has been made in the exercise of the civil or criminal jurisdiction of the High Court.
36. Judicial review
37. Mandamus, etc. by interlocutory order
Part VII – Practice and procedure of courts
39. Practice and procedure
40. Rules Committee
41. Functions of the Rules Committee
42. Chief Justice to make rules of court relating to prerogative orders
Part VIII – Miscellaneous
43. Officers of courts
44. Seals of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Court
45. Process and execution
46. Protection of judicial officers
47. Certain Acts of the United Kingdom to continue to apply
History of this document
19 June 2020 this version
Amended by Administration of the Judiciary Act, 2020
31 December 2000
ConsolidationRead this version
17 May 1996
|Constitutional Court (Petitions and References) Rules, 2005||Statutory Instrument 91 of 2005|
|Judicature (Amicus Curiae) Rules, 2022||Statutory Instrument 54 of 2022|
|Judicature (Court Bailiffs) Rules, 2022||Statutory Instrument 53 of 2022|
|Judicature (Fundamental and Other Human Rights and Freedoms) (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 2019||Statutory Instrument 31 of 2019|
|Judicature (Judicial Review) (Amendment) Rules, 2019||Statutory Instrument 32 of 2019|
|Judicature (Judicial Review) Rules, 2009||Statutory Instrument 11 of 2009|
|Judicature (Legal Representation at the Expense of the State) Rules, 2022||Statutory Instrument 55 of 2022|
|Judicature (Mediation) Rules, 2013||Statutory Instrument 10 of 2013|
|Judicature (Small Claims Procedure) Rules, 2011||Statutory Instrument 25 of 2011|
|Judicature (Supreme Court Rules) Directions||Legal Notice 13 of 1996|