The government printer, the Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation has been dragged to court for failing to gazette the Human Rights Enforcement Act, 2019, nine months after being assented to.
President Museveni on March 31 assented to the law.
However, James Mubiru, a lawyer says by failing to gazette the law is a neglect of its duty on the part of the government printer.
“The said Act has no commencement date by printing and publishing it is a pre-requisite for it to become a law that is applicable and enforceable in Uganda. As a result of the respondent’s refusal, failure and neglect to print and publish the Human Rights Enforcement Act,2019 yet it was assented to, it has not yet become a law that is enforceable in Uganda,”Mubiru says in his affidavit.
The lawyer says government printer or its officials have no legal or any other justification for failure or refusal to print and publish the human rights law which was assented to nine months ago.
“It is in the interest of constitutionalism, justice and rule of law that the respondent is directed to immediately print and publish the Human Rights Enforcement Act 2019.”
The lawyer wants court to issue a declaration that failure by the Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation to neglect, refusal or failure to print and publish the Human Rights Enforcement Act 2019 is illegal, unlawful and contradicts with Article 91(8) of the Constitution, section 13 of the Acts of Parliament Act and section 5(3)(a) of the Uganda Printing and Publishing Corporation.
“Court should issue an order of mandamus directing the respondent, its officials or servants to immediately print and publish the Human Rights Enforcement Act 2019.”
Mubiru also wants court to order UPPC to pay costs for the case.
The gazette is the official government publication in which all official government communication and publication including appointments, declarations, notices, transactions, contracts and legislations are published and it can be accessed in public libraries and from the Uganda Printing and Publishing Company Limited.
By failure to have a law put in the gazette, it simply means, anyone who wants to petition court basing on such a law cannot proceed with the same.
The Human Rights Enforcement Act 2019
The Human Rights Enforcement Act 2019 was assented to by President Museveni on March 31 and it provides for;
- Enforcement of human rights and freedoms
- Enforcement of rights and freedoms by the High Court
- Enforcement of rights and freedoms by magistrates court
- General provisions on human rights suits
- Reference of human rights matters by surbodinate courts
- Orders that may be made by court in human rights cases
- Personal liability on infringement of rights and freedoms
- Complying with orders and directives of court
- Progressive realization of rights and freedoms
- Unconditional release of persons unreasonably detained.