National
Anti-Corruption Court composition challenged
Publish Date: Mar 10, 2014
Anti-Corruption Court composition challenged
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By Hillary Nsambu

A constitutional application in which city lawyer Davis Wesley Tusingwire seeks to stop the functions of the Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court until his appeal is heard and finally decided, is set to be heard on March 17 in the Supreme Court.

Tusingwire seeks to remove the Chief Magistrates and Grade One Magistrates from sitting as High Court judges in the Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court in the current structure of the division.

Last December, Tusingwire lost a constitutional petition on a 4-1 majority judgment in the Constitutional Court, hence this appeal, which he says has very high chances of success for it raises very important constitutional issues regarding the court’s structure.

Through Muwema and Mugerwa Advocates, Tusinggwire, insists that the current structure, composition, competence and functions of the ACD of the High Court violate the provisions of the Constitution.

Tusingwire asks the Supreme Court to rule that the directions providing for the appointment to and exercise of judicial duties by the Chief magistrates and Grade One magistrates as designated magistrates in the ACD of the High Court, distort the constitutional composition of the High Court in contravention of the Constitution.

He further asks the Supreme Court to rule that by allowing the designated magistrates, who are judicial officers of subordinate courts to double as judicial officers of the High Court and exercise unlimited territorial  jurisdictions concurrently with the High Court is contrary to and inconsistent with the Constitution.

The lawyer further argues that the trials conducted by the magistrates in the ACD of the High Court are not lawful and they derogate an accused person’s right to a fair hearing before an independent and competent court established by law contrary to the Constitution. 

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