Lawyer Male Mabirizi has run to the High Court to challenge the proposed reforms in the country’s judicial system in regards releasing persons accused of capital offences on bail.
It was recently reported that Cabinet endorsed criminal justice reforms, among them amendments to the 1995 Constitution and the Police Act, to deny suspects on capital offences bail or police bond and suspects on murder, rape, robbery and treason charges, among others, as the main target for the proposed reforms.
However, Mabirizi has run to the civil division of the High Court in Kampala for an application for judicial review against the cabinet decision to derogate the right to bail and bond for suspects because what was done was illegal and didn’t follow the proper process.
The lawyer argues that the Attorney General, a minister, who took oath to protect the Constitution cannot initiate a process to derogate inherent human rights and consequently, the cabinet decision is illegal.
“He(Attorney General) did not carry out reasonable stakeholders’ and public participation, in the circumstances, in coming up with the memorandum,”Mabirizi says.
“Cabinet, which swore to protect the Constitution has no function to initiate, introduce and transmit proposals intended to derogate fundamental human Rights and freedoms. cabinet did not carry out reasonable stakeholder and public participation, in the circumstances, before arriving at the decision.”
According to Mabirizi, the cabinet decisions on bail and bond for suspects are illegal since they were done improperly, irrationally and unreasonably.
The lawyer wants court to issue an order quashing the cabinet decisions on bail and bond reforms in the Constitution and Police Act respectively.
“Court should be moved to issue an order of prohibition prohibiting Parliament or any Uganda government official or agency from dealing with implementing the Cabinet memorandum titled “Release on police bond or court bail proposing prohibition of bail for persons facing charges triable both by Magistrates and High Court or only by High Court and increasing the time of being in custody before presented in Court from 48 hours to 48 business hours,”Mabirizi says.
The lawyer also wants court to issue a permanent injunction restraining Parliament or any Uganda Government official or agency from dealing with implementing the cabinet decision.
“It is fair, equitable and the interest of protecting fundamental human rights and freedoms that the application is allowed,” he argues.