An analysis of the concept of judicial independence in Uganda during the Post 1995 Constitution period

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Kampala International University; School of Law
This is a study on the principle of judicial independence. This is a doctrine that has attained universal force which requires that in the performance of its functions, the judiciary must act independently. The judiciary is the only institution that is entrusted with the role to protect the freedom and liberty of persons by way of interpreting the law. It therefore means that for efficient protection of personal freedom and liberty the judiciary must not be subject to any person or authority in the exercise of its powers. The study looks at the origin or the genesis of the doctrine of judicial independence, its links with the British monarch rule and why it became important to separate the three arms of the government. It is fundamental that for the three arms of the government to act efficiently and meaningfully to the people, there has to be a clear separation of powers within the judiciary, the executive and the legislature. The separation of arms promotes independence of the arms and enhances checks and balances with high level of accountability. The judiciary being the sole organ with the constitutional mandate to interpret the laws has high responsibility to protect the liberties and freedoms of the people granted under the law. This is a responsibility that can only be fully and meaningfully performed by an independent, fearless and impartial judiciary. The research looks into the legal basis of the doctrine of judicial independence. Legal provisions on the independence of the judiciary both at national and international level are studied into extensively. The study of the legal basis of the doctrine highlights the basic principles of judicial independence. This include among others but not limited to security of tenure of judicial officers, financial security and autonomy of the institution, protection from liability arising from the exercise of judicial powers. The study looks at the performance of judicial independence in Uganda, the reasons why the principle has not been fully effective in our local justice system. It is looked in this research to what level have the courts acted independent and why still the public perceive the judiciary has not being independent. Interference by the executive arm, corruption and the level of openness in the appointing of judicial officers are some of factors that have affected the efficiency of the national courts. The study finally looks into the possible solutions to the problems that have negatively affected the independence of the judiciary in form of recommendations.
A dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Law in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Award of the Degree of bachelors of Laws of Kampala International University.
Judicial independence, Post 1995 Constitution period, Uganda