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Age limit: Court refuses to stop parliament debate

By Barbra Kabahumuza, Hillary Nsambu

Added 19th December 2017 07:05 PM

Lawyer Jackson Ntwatwa went to court to stop Parliament from debating the subject.

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Lawyer Jackson Ntwatwa went to court to stop Parliament from debating the subject.


The High Court has refused to stop Parliament from debating the amendment of Article 102(b) of the Constitution with the intension of scrapping the presidential age limit.  

In a ruling that was made by assistant registrar of the Civil Division of the High Court, Joy Bahinguza Kabagye, it was stated that the doctrine of the separation of powers cannot be violated by the Judiciary curtailing Parliament from carrying out its core functions of amending the Constitution.

“The amendment of Article 102(b) by Parliament is constitutional. As a result, this application is hereby dismissed,” she ordered.    

Jackson Ntwatwa, a city lawyer, had sought to stop Parliament from debating, consulting, enquiring and or amending by addition, variation or repeal Article 102(b) or any other provision of the Constitution until the court determined his application.

Ntwatwa had also sought to stop proceedings of any nature, if any, including consultation arising from the Constitution that may be pending before any committee of Parliament until his substantive application is finally determined by the court.

The applicant asserted that he had already filed his substantive application in court and it was pending hearing and; it raises serious constitutional legal issues that ought to be determined by court on merit.

He argued that he and other Ugandans in general would suffer irreparable injury if the court did not stop Parliament from proceeding with the debate on the issue.

In September 2017, a private members' Bill on presidential age limit was tabled in parliament, causing a sharp debate among Ugandans.

In his affidavit, Ntwatwa argued that the proposed amendment caused divisions among Ugandans and raised alarm for that reason he sought judicial investigations.

He further sought the maintenance of the status quo of the 1995 Constitution.

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