Makula International Ltd v His Eminence Cardinal Nsubuga & Anor [1982] UGSC 2 (8 April 1982)

Appeals and reviews|Late filing and extension of time to appeal|Taxation of Bill of Costs|Jurisdiction|CL
Case summary
This was an appeal against the decision of the taxing officer awarding the second respondent damages for breach of a contract. The court determined two main issues in determination of the matter. Firstly, whether an appeal lies from a decision of the High Court on a matter that goes before it from an extra judicial authority which is specifically made appealable but no further right of appeal is given. The court noted various judgments that held that such a right lies only when the judgment of the High Court results in a decree. The court differed with this position and applied ss 32(b) and 68 of the Civil Procedure Act and held that the provision allowing for an appeal on decrees should equally apply to orders of the High Court, unless the appeal is specifically excluded by legislation. Secondly, the court observed that the service was outside the prescribed time and court lacked jurisdiction to enlarge the time. The court noted that the appeal was incompetent for this reason, but opted not to dismiss it so as to deal with the serious discrepancies by the taxing officer who proceeded on wrong principles escalating the award. Consequently, the court determined whether it could interfere with the taxing officer’s order given that the appeal was incompetent. The court exercised its inherent powers and varied the bill of costs without remitting the case to the taxing officer. Accordingly, the respondent’s objections were upheld partly and the appeal was dismissed.

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