Befriending the Judiciary: Behind and Beyond the 2016 Supreme Court Amicus Curiae Rulings in Uganda
Authors Christopher Mbazira
Affiliations: Professor of Law, Makerere University School of Law, and Advocate of the Courts of Judicature of Uganda; Associate Professor of Law and Coordinator of the Public Interest Law Clinic (PILAC), Makerere University School of Law, and Advocate of the Courts of Judicature of Uganda
Source: Africa Journal of Comparative Constitutional Law, 2016, p. 1 – 22
In the heat of the 2016 presidential election petition challenging the re-election of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in Uganda, two amicus curiae applications were filed in the Supreme Court – one from a group of civil society activists, while the other was instituted by nine Makerere University law professors. This article provides a review and analysis of the Supreme Court decisions on the two applications against the backdrop of a largely conservative approach to the admission of amicus curiae briefs in Ugandan courts. It argues that the decision in the Makerere professors’ case set a progressive precedent for the admission of such applications, and clarified several issues, including the questions of bias, the expertise of the intended ‘friends’, and the place of the public in such an application.