Six Months On, State Continues to Withhold Dr. Adrian Jjuko’s Book on LGB Equality

HRAPF's Executive Director, Dr. Adrian Jjuuko is set for a legal battle against the state after they retained his published book 'Strategic Litigation and the struggle for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Equality in Africa'.

The book which discusses the role of LGB Strategic Litigation in creating social change in Africa, and proposes ways in which LGB strategic litigation can be used as a catalyst for social change in Common Law Africa was retained last year. The 10 hard copies have, for more than six months, been held by the Uganda customs authorities and official status is that they were sent to the Minister of Ethics and Integrity for possible censorship.

Asked what his next step would be in challenging this unjust retention of his publication, Dr. Adrian Jjuko said he intends to challenge the unjustified retention of his property bythe state - as a way of enforcing the right to property. Her explained that as the author, he was never given any reason for why his books which are his personal property were detained.   “There is a lot of interest in many common law countries in Africa in using the courts of law to create social change concerning LGB issues. Many have seen strategic litigation working in South Africa, USA, Canada, India etc and they think the time is now to try it out in the rest of Africa. Indeed, we have done quite a lot of that in Uganda. My own experience was that strategic litigation needs to be done in a more systematic and strategic way if it is to be helpful - as it has the potential to create dangerous backlash for the community as well as counter mobilisation and activists should be ready for these,” Dr. Adrian said of his decision to write this book which he believes will push the movement forward. He further noted that he hoped the book would help activists in Africa to think more of what it means to litigate in courts of law in a situation of lesbophobia, biphobia and homophobia.

“Also we have to be alive to the context in which we are working - flawed democracies, outright dictatorships, legal pluralism, religiosity and low economic development. All these have the potential to make gains from strategic litigation illusory, and were never key considerations for the countries that largely had social change through the courts of law.Therefore, I see the book as sounding a warning bell - that Go Slow and Change Strategy or Danger Ahead,” concluded as he pointed to need for adaptation of new strategy.

'Strategic Litigation and the struggle for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual equality in Africa' was published by Daraja Press with the support of the Center for Law and Social Transformation, at the University of Bergen, Norway.