A critical analysis into the right to information since 1962 to date

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Kampala International University; School of Law
This research aims to assess the right to access of information in Uganda since its achieving of independence in 1962 to date. Uganda has made significant progress in policy and legal reforms to ensure that information in the hands of the government is accessible by the public. In 2005, the Access to Information Act No. 6 of 2005 was enacted to operationalise and give effect to article 41 of the Constitution. Specifically, the Act was intended to: promote an efficient, effective, transparent and accountable government, give effect to article 41 of the Constitution, promote transparency and accountability in all organs of the state, empower the public to effectively scrutinise and participate in government decisions and to protect persons disclosing evidence of corruption or contravention of the law in public bodies. Uganda's natural resource laws provide for the right to access environmental information within the confines of government. This has wide implications for environmental management as these sectorial laws have largely facilitated access to various information held by public institutions. This report traces the history of access to information research in Uganda and the events that have steered the ATI campaign as well as the impact of such events. Highlighting selected court cases that have been brought before Ugandan courts of law that have an impact on ATI, a description is made of the enabling legal environment for the ATI covering the Constitution, ATI Act and assesses the right of access, procedures for requesting, appeals, exemptions as well as sanctions. It comprises an analysis and review of the laws relating to ATI from framework law to sectorial law. In addition, it discusses the correlation between the ATI laws and other information laws highlighting inconsistencies, challenges in implementation and how these could impact on the actual enforcement of the law. It then underscores the areas that require reforms to be put in place with respect to institutional capacity needs among others. It illustrates transparency provisions in sectoral laws in the environment and natural resources sector, depicting the information provisions of the laws, those that are consistent with ATI laws across the sector. It presents the findings of the research, putting the legal analysis, institutional assessment as well as the proactive release of information into perspective including the opportunities that exist for redress. It proposes key strategies and recommendations for active engagement and taking forward the right to ATI campaign in Uganda.
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Law in partial fulfillment for the Award of a Bachelor’s Degree in Laws of Uganda in Kampala International University
Critical analysis, Right to information since 1962 to date