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Mak Wins ULS 2020 Rule of Law Debate Challenge

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Mak Emerges 1st Runner-up at 10th Amity International Moot

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10th Amity International Moot Competition Finals 11th October 2020. Makerere University's Team of three emerged 1st Runners-up. Photo credit: Twitter/@MakMootSociety

A team of three from the Makerere Moot Society participated in the 10th Amity International Moot Competition organized by Amity University’s Law School in Noida, India and emerged First Runners-up. The team that took part in the three-day virtual event held from 9th to 11th October 2020 comprised of Milton Aloti, Chelsea Tumwebaze and Etiang Timothy George.

A statement from the Makerere Moot Society noted that it was the body’ first time to be represented at the competition and the 2020 question was on the Law of the Seas.

“We are extremely proud of the team and grateful to the organizers. Special congratulations are extended to Chelsea Tumwebaze who emerged as the second best Oralist at the 2020 Moot. The society is immensely proud of you” concluded the statement.

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

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Dr. Busingye Kabumba delivers the Keynote Address at the 3rd Benedicto Kiwanuka Memorial Lecture on 21st September 2020, The High Court, Kampala. Photo Credit: Twitter/@JudiciaryUG

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

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