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Black Laws Matter: A Keynote Address by Dr. Busingye Kabumba

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BLACK LAWS MATTER

BENEDICTO KIWANUKA’S LEGACY AND THE RULE OF LAW IN THE ‘NEW NORMAL’

KEYNOTE ADDRESS

BY

DR. BUSINGYE KABUMBA,

LECTURER OF LAW, MAKERERE UNIVERSITY

AT THE 3RD BENEDICTO KIWANUKA MEMORIAL LECTURE

21ST SEPTEMBER, 2020

THE HIGH COURT, KAMPALA

My Lord The Hon. Alfonse Chigamoy Owiny-Dollo, The Chief Justice of the Republic of Uganda,
The Hon. Bart Magunda Katureebe, The Chief Justice of the Republic of Uganda,
The Hon. The Deputy Chief Justice,
The Honorable Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs,
The Hon. The Principal Judge,
My Lords the Justices and Judges,
The Chief Registrar,
The Family of the Late Benedicto Kiwanuka,
Heads of JLOS Institutions,
Permanent Secretaries,
Your Worships,
The President of the Uganda Judicial Officers Association,
The President of the Uganda Law Society,
Invited Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen.

1.0 Introduction

I thank the Chief Justice Alfonse Chigamoy Owiny-Dollo for inviting me to give this lecture in memory of the first Ugandan Chief Justice of our country, the late Benedicto Kagimu Mugumba Kiwanuka.

I am deeply honoured to have been so invited. In the first place because of the immense stature of the man to whom this day is dedicated. Secondly, given the illustrious nature of the previous two key note speakers (Chief Justice Samuel William Wako Wambuzi – threetime Chief Justice of Uganda and Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, the first Chief Justice of Kenya under the 2010 Constitution of that country).

I am keenly aware of the trust exemplified by this invitation, and do hope to try to live up to it. In the same vein, I would like to take a brief moment to acknowledge two people who have been critical in shaping my life and thoughts over the years, and without whose patient guidance the trust placed upon me today would have definitely been misplaced. First, my late father, Professor Ijuka Kabumba. Secondly, Professor Joe Oloka Onyango. Anything of any importance that I might say today I owe to their support and guidance. Any errors I might make, on the other hand, are entirely my own fault.

2.0 Crisis: Ancient and Modern

We meet today in the throes of a national, regional and global crisis. Covid-19 has fundamentally challenged life as we know it, upending and disrupting all aspects of our life – economic, social and political. Indeed, even today’s event is held under ‘scientific conditions’ with most attending electronically – over Facebook livestream – rather than in person.

In these circumstances, it is little wonder that the organizers of this third memorial lecture thought it best to hold it under the theme: ‘Promoting the Rule of Law in the New Normal’. It is an appropriate response to the rapidly changing world that confronts us.

At the same time, this morning, I would like to suggest a different way of thinking about, and approaching, the challenging times in which we find ourselves. That the best way of dealing with change – even rapid change – is to recognize those things which are constant.

I think, in this regard, of the words of King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 1:9 (New International Version):

What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

Thus, while the current times might appear to be without precedent, in the long life of the universe, what we are experiencing – as frightening as it seems – is nothing new.

At the same time, its lack of novelty in the larger scheme of things does not take away its novelty as an experience for us – we who are present in this moment. My suggestion this morning is that, in realizing both the novelty and banality of the present crisis – we appreciate it as an opportunity to courageously rethink a number of the notions to which we cling so tightly for comfort.

Who would have thought that most international borders could be closed, and for so long a time? Or that schools would be closed, and work places shut down – with the world seemingly coming to a slow halt? In this moment in which that which we never thought possible – that which was even unthinkable – could come to pass, is an incredible moment to re-examine other facets of life of our economic, social, political and, indeed, legal life.

This morning, it is with the last of these – our legal life – that I would like to briefly reflect upon as we remember the life and service of Chief Justice Benedicto Kiwanuka. As we remember his ultimate sacrifice for the cause and ideal of the rule of law, I invite us to reflect today as to what this might mean in ‘the new normal’.

Before Covid-19, we were a nation in crisis. After Covid-19, we shall remain a nation in crisis. Part of this crisis is one of identity. And this identity crisis then manifests in various aspects of our political, social, economic – and legal – life. This crisis can be captured by asking a few simple questions:

  1. What is Uganda?
  2. What does it mean to be Ugandan?

Only by seriously asking these two simple questions, and earnestly seeking to answer them, can we then accurately answer a third: ‘What law(s) should rule in Uganda?’ Put differently, this third question would be: ‘Why does the law not rule in Uganda?’

Please click the link below to Download the full Keynote Address

Law

Law Students Graduate During 1st Session of 71st Graduation Ceremony

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Soroti District Woman MP and Former Mak Guild President, Hon. Anna Ebaju Adeke (R) with fellow Master of Laws Graduands on Day 1 of the 71st Graduation Ceremony, 17th May 2021, Freedom Square, Makerere University.

By Harriet Musinguzi

A total of 25 Master of Laws and 286 Bachelor of law graduands were part of the 12,550 graduands awarded degrees and diplomas of Makerere University in various disciplines during the 71st Graduation ceremony that ran from 17th to 21st May 2021 at Freedom square.

The ceremony was presided over by the Chancellor Makerere University and the Minister of Education and Sports, Mrs Janet Kataaha Museveni was chief Guest.

In a statement read by Hon. Dr. John Chrysostom Muyingo the State Minister for Higher Education, Hon. Janet Kataaha Museveni congratulated the graduands, the staff of Makerere University and the parents for the efforts put into preparing the students despite the COVID 19 challenges.  She said Government is committed to continue investing in ICT infrastructure as one of the ways to ensure that distance learning is entrenched as an option in teaching.  She further congratulated Makerere University for the groundbreaking research over the past period which was transitioning the University into realizing its objective of being research led.

She pledged Government commitment towards continued support to Makerere University, which she described as a pioneer in higher education in the country trough mobilizing funds for salaries and other support.

The Chancellor Prof. Ezra Suruma congratulated Makerere University for the distinguished awards in the past year which he said, had consolidated the university’s global reputation as a leading research institution. He paid special recognition to staff and faculty for the excellent work done in preparing the students until their graduation. He expressed optimism, that the graduating students would have a transformative impact on the future of Uganda, the East African region and the entire Universe.

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Call For Review of Publications and Case Law

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The Human Rights and Peace Centre, School of Law, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda

The East African Journal for Peace and Human Rights (EAJPHR) is an international, peer-reviewed, bi-annual scholarly publication of the department of Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC) of the School of Law, Makerere University. The Journal aims to stimulate research and thinking on contemporary governance issues, problems, challenges and policies. Its primary aim is to provide a platform to scholars, practitioners and activists in the fields of human rights, constitutional law, Rule of Law, among others, to share knowledge and experiences. 

This is a call for reviews of recent legislation, case law as well as articles and books for publication in the journal’s December 2021 issue. There have been a number of recently passed legislation especially as the 10th Parliament is winding up its business. Similarly, legal jurisprudence has been enriched by a number of new publications. The EAJPHR would like to use this opportunity to provide a scholarly assessment of how the said jurisprudence adds to our understanding of the legal context and operational environment of the courts in Uganda.

We are therefore inviting submissions to our journal in the form of commentaries and analytical reviews of laws and publications issued between 2018 to date as one way of interrogating the progress (or otherwise) of the legal environment in Uganda. Submissions made should provide a critical analysis, and/or evaluation of the quality, meaning, and significance of a particular case decision or publication. Furthermore, they should include essential information about the case /publication and an evaluation of its significance in light of the human rights and governance context prevalent in the country to date.

Interested authors should submit an abstract of not more than 500 words to the emails below not later than 10 June 2021. Law students are particularly encouraged to participate.

Contact Information:

The Managing Editor, EAJPHR
Dr. Zahara Nampewo
Email: zahara.nampewo[at]mak.ac.ug

Assistant Editor
Francis Xavier Birikadde
Email: fbirikadde[at]gmail.com

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School of Law Annual Report 2020

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The Ag. Principal School of Law, Prof. Christopher Mbazira presents on "Knowledge Transfer and Strategic Partnerships: University Meeting Community Development Needs" during the Mak Strategic Plan Drafting Meeting on 21st February 2018.

The School of Law in accordance with the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act 2001 is proud to present to you the Annual Report for 2020. Despite the Challenges realized in the period under review due to the breakout of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown, the School was able to devise ways and means of realizing the objectives using innovative means under the new normal. With the guidance of the University, the School immediately embraced technology to enable it deliver on its mandate.

In 2020, despite the restrictions in the first half, emphasis was put on the teaching, learning and research. Student centered approaches to learning were employed. In addition, the School continued with its service delivery to particularly address the needs of the communities that we serve. This was done among others through the outreaches undertaken as one element of knowledge transfer.

As a matter of fact, the practical element of the training was greatly affected. This included the internships that were affected since many organizations could not physically take on our students in observance of the SOPs. The School therefore devised means of ensuring that the students undertook some practical work that was assessed mostly online.

Albeit the challenges that are recurrent in nature year after year like inadequate infrastructure and the ever-increasing financial strain, a lot has been realized in the teaching and learning core function. Effort has been intensified in sourcing for alternative funding through mobilization of the alumni and other networks. Strategies have been laid aimed at supporting the research output as well as the infrastructure and a lot has been realized here. Indeed, one of the biggest achievements was the success in convincing the Centre to budget for a new School of Building. The procurement process in underway for this purpose.

I take this opportunity to appreciate the efforts of the staff of the School, students, alumni, partners and the University Management for their demonstrated resilience and support that enabled us compete rather difficult year.

Prof. Christopher Mbazira
Ag. Principal, School of Law

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