Log in
Updated today

Court blocks meeting to discuss Museveni's letter to Chief Justice

Justice Musa Ssekaana

Justice Musa Ssekaana

The High court has issued an injunction stopping the Uganda Law Society (ULS) from convening this afternoon to hold an extraordinary meeting.

The order issued by civil division's judge Musa Ssekaana on Tuesday follows a successful application by one of the members of ULS Brian Kirima against his professional body where he said he would suffer irreparable damages if the meeting went on. Kirima petitioned the court, adding that such a meeting could lead to the passing of resolutions that are not only illegal and outrageous but absurd - bringing disgrace and embarrassment to the society of which he would suffer as a member.

The issues that were scheduled for discussion were related to the independence of the judiciary. President Yoweri Museveni in a letter dated December 7, 2023, wrote to Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo regarding the management and handling of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) property case with businessman Justus Kyabahwa.

As such, Kirima noted that the court should grant him a temporary injunction pending the determination of his application for judicial review in which he is challenging the legality of such extraordinary meetings of discussing issues he said are outside their mandate as lawyers.

In response, ULS through the affidavit of their secretary, Isaac Atukunda opposed the application saying that section 3(c) of the Uganda Law Society Act mandates the society to represent, protect and assist members of the legal profession in Uganda as regards conditions of practice and otherwise.

Based on that, Atukunda said the society received a petition signed by 17 people and they were satisfied that the petitioners had met the requirements under the ULS Act that warrant convening of an extraordinary general meeting. He said the intended extraordinary general meeting will only discuss and pass resolutions which are within their mandate as provided under the ULS Act.

According to ULS, the matter raised in the petition for the extraordinary general meeting are matters concerning the rule of law for which they have a mandate to discuss and make resolutions. In his ruling, Ssekaana allowed the application and ordered ULS to halt the meeting.

"It has also been shown by the applicant that the balance of convenience lies in maintaining the status quo and the balance of convenience cannot be ignored in such an application which alludes to breach of law or passing of illegal resolutions which will occasion an irreparable damage or injury, such damage or injury cannot be atoned for or compensated in damages," said Ssekaana.

He added: "A temporary injunction issues against the respondent, restraining it from calling, convening and arranging an extraordinary general meeting on requisition of member’s petition until the final determination of the main application (cause)."

This is the second time the High court is blocking an extraordinary general meeting called by Uganda Law Society this year already. Last month, the same court issued an order blocking them from convening to sit and discuss issues related to the management and conduct of Hoima High court judge Jesse Byaruhanga Rugyema in the Tilenga Oil case.

Further, this is the third order that has been issued against Uganda Law Society by the same court this year. On February 2, 2024, civil division judge Boniface Wamala issued an order directing ULS to stop sending representatives to statutory bodies without being voted for by all the members. This followed lawyer Steven Kalali 's successful petition. 

URN has since learnt that the lawyers are planning to hold a protest in the form of a boycott of the judiciary's upcoming event of New Law Year this Friday.

Comments are now closed for this entry