n Malawi Law Journal - Execution by hanging not torture or cruel punishment? : notes and comments

Volume 3, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1996-7675



In a recent case of , the Supreme Court of Uganda upheld the decision of the Constitutional Court holding that, although the Constitution of Uganda expressly endorses the death penalty in certain criminal cases, the mandatory imposition of this penalty is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court also upheld the lower court's decision that keeping a prisoner on death row for more than three years after the final confirmation of the sentence of death amounts to cruel and inhuman treatment. This case is significant because it adds weight to a growing number of decisions on the continent outlawing mandatory capital punishment. However, in the same case, the Supreme Court (Egonda-Ntende Ag JSC dissenting) also held that hanging as a method of executing the death sentence does not amount to torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment under article 24 of the Constitution of Uganda. This article takes issue with this aspect of the Supreme Court's decision.

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