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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 28th November 2023 Update on Legal Proceedings of the Anti-Homosexuality Act in Uganda.

28th November 2023.

Update on Legal Proceedings of the Anti-Homosexuality Act in Uganda.

Today, the legal battle challenging the constitutionality of Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 took a significant step forward before His Lordship Justice Kiryabwire at the constitutional court in Kampala. CFE legal representatives alongside others appeared for case conferencing on all 4 petitions (i.e. 14,15,16 and 85 to agree on facts and issues. The following updates summarize the proceedings:Consolidation of Constitutional Petitions:
All constitutional petitions questioning the legality of the Anti-Homosexuality Act were consolidated for a more streamlined legal process. This consolidation aims to provide clarity and coherence in addressing the constitutional concerns raised by various petitioners.

• Consolidation of Applications:
11 amicus applications had been filed under Amicus curiae (friends of court with expertise on the subject matter before court) were by consent reduced to five. This is because of the consolidation of the cases as the amicus applicants had applied to join each of the petitions. Applications filed by the South African Litigation Centre were admitted under the consolidated petitions.
These five Amici Applications are from;
• The South African Litigation Centre (SALC)
• The Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS)
• The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
• VIIV Healthcare (UK), GlaxoSmithKline Services, Gilead Sciences and Merck (MSD)
• Prof. Tendayi Achiume, Prof. Frans Viljoen, Munab Ndulo, Giramachechew Alemu, James Thuo Gathi and Abadir Ibrahim

All Amici Applications were objected to by the Attorney General and as such they were all forwarded to a panel of 5 Justices for determination.

The two applications to be joined as Respondents/Necessary parties by Pastor Martin Ssempa and Eng. Stephen Langa respectively have been forwarded to a panel of 5 Justices for determination. This is because, some of the petitioners and the Attorney General objected to their addition and the issue can only therefore be determined by the panel of five justices.

• Status of Court Documents:
The court noted that some parties had yet to file necessary court documents, while others were in the process of extracting consents. To ensure that all parties are adequately prepared for the upcoming trial, a deadline of Friday has been set for compliance. This extension allows parties to fulfill their documentation requirements, ensuring a comprehensive legal process.

• Adjournment of Final Conferencing:
In consideration of the court’s commitment to ensuring the readiness of all involved parties for trial, the final conferencing has been adjourned. The new date for the final conferencing is set for Monday, 11th December 2023. Its our hope that this adjournment reflects the court’s dedication to conducting a thorough and fair examination of the constitutional challenges presented.