n Malawi Law Journal - Uganda's military courts and the right to a competent tribunal : some reflections

Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1996-7675



The right to a competent tribunal is one of the most important guarantees in ensuring a fair trial in any democratic society. It is protected by both international and national human rights law. In Uganda, it is protected by the Constitution as one of the non-derogable rights. This article analyses Uganda's military courts in the light of the right to a competent tribunal as understood in international human rights law. Although there have been attempts to put in place safeguards in Uganda's military justice legal framework to guarantee the right to a competent tribunal, this article establishes that there are still many deficiencies that need to be addressed. There are no adequate safeguards to ensure that Uganda's military courts are sufficiently legally competent and that those appointed as judicial officers are persons of integrity. Furthermore, Uganda's military courts exercise jurisdiction over civil (non-military) offences and certain civilians.

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