n Law, Democracy & Development - The political question doctrine in Uganda : a reassessment in the wake of CEHURD

Volume 18, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1028-1053
  • E-ISSN: 2077-4907



On 5 June 2012, the Constitutional Court of Uganda handed down its decision in (). The petitioners challenged the adequacy of maternal health services in Uganda. Central to the petitioners' assertions is the claim that the levels of funding and maternal health care in Uganda amount to a denial of a constitutionally mandated right to health. The petitioners sought various forms of judicial remedies ranging from judicial declarations as to the unconstitutionality of government policies to the award of compensation to the families of the deceased victims of poor maternal health care. Uganda's Constitutional Court dismissed the petition, holding that matters of government health policy are non-justiciable political questions. The ruling was a significant blow to advocates for the judicial enforcement of social and economic rights and proponents of public interest litigation in Uganda. Suddenly, a legal principle of American origin stood in the way of judicial engagement with the pressing matter of maternal health.

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