Court of Appeal’s Justice Remmy Kasule has retired from judicial service after serving for 17 years.
In a memo dated July 26, 2021, to Judges of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High court; registrars, and magistrates, the Chief Registrar Sarah Langa applauded Kasule for his services to the judiciary and the country at large.
“Hon Justice Remmy Kasule successfully completed his contract as Justice of the Court of Appeal on July,22, 2021. I wish to congratulate His Lordship for the distinguished service he has rendered to the judiciary and country at large. I wish him a peaceful and enjoyable retirement,”Langa said in the memo.
Justice Kasule officially retired as a judge of the Court of Appeal/ Constitutional Court in October 2019 after clocking the mandatory 70 years.
However, after talks between the judiciary and the Judicial Service Commission- the government body mandated to recruit judicial officers, he was rehired on a two-year contract that ended last month.
Born Remegious Kyonooneka Kasule 72 years ago, the graduate of law from Makerere University retreated from active politics as a member of the Democratic Party(DP) before being called to the bench.
Kasule was defeated by the late John Zimula Mugwanya for a position on the Constituent Assembly that framed the 1995 Constitution and after the loss, he concentrated on his private law practice which saw him rise to prominence as a criminal defence attorney.
Because of his success in criminal cases, Kasule eventually rose to the rank of Senior Counsel, bestowed upon him by the Uganda Law Council.
In 2004, he was appointed to the High Court of Uganda where he served in Kampala until 2007 when he was sent to Gulu as the resident judge until 2011 when he was elevated to the Court of Appeal.
Justice Remmy Kasule has been part of the panels that have handled several cases including the famous 2014 “Rebel MPs” case involving Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga), Muhammad Nsereko (Kampala Central), Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East) and Barnabas Tinkasiimire (Buyaga West).
The Constitutional Court set a precedent when in a petition challenging Speaker Rebecca Kadaga’s decision to retain the four MPs expelled by the NRM ruled that once an MP is expelled from his party, he or she automatically loses his or her seat in the House.
However, in a dissenting judgment, Justice Remmy Kasule said it was not right for the MPs to lose their seats in parliament despite being expelled from the party.
“As a result of the political instabilities in the past, the Constitution had to ensure that Ugandans enjoy their freedoms and fundamental human rights. In particular, Ugandans had to be protected from dictatorship of a political party,” he said.
He argued that the MPs had a right to differ from the party positions and that would not lead to their expulsion.
“When MPs are on the floor of Parliament, MPs are allowed to air their views freely. If the country’s democracy is to flourish, MPs should be able to vote without fear. We cannot let a political party gauge freedom of expression.”
Age limit case
Kasule was also one of the five justices of the Constitutional Court that heard the controversial presidential age limit petition in 2018.
He is on record to have ruled in favour of lifting the age limit cap.
“The Odoki Committee itself didn’t find the age limit of the President as one of the critical pillars of the constitution to be entrenched. Accordingly, I find that the Amendment of article 102(b) doesn’t contravene the constitution,”Kasule said.
“If we have fixed the minimum age, we don’t need to consider the maximum, the electorates will decide. Aging is part of a human process that comes with its attributes. It must be appreciated that even with the removal of term limits, only those with the required age will stand for elections.”