AG scoffs at international lawyers
What you need to know:
- In a March 23 statement, Mr Kiryowa clarifies that Justice Kisaakye was instead answering a complaint over her alleged misconduct but not because she issued a dissenting judgment in the Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, Vs President Museveni poll petition.
Attorney General (AG) Kiryowa Kiwanuka bashed the international lawyers associations over alleged peddling falsehoods on the reasons to why Supreme Court Judge Esther Kisaakye is on the verge of being removed from office.
In a March 23 statement, Mr Kiryowa clarifies that Justice Kisaakye was instead answering a complaint over her alleged misconduct but not because she issued a dissenting judgment in the Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, Vs President Museveni poll petition.
The bashing by the chief government legal adviser are directed against the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) and the Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA).
“It’s absolutely false and indeed slanderous to say, as the IBAHRI and CLA have done, that Justice Kisaakye is facing disciplinary action for having written a dissenting judgment. Justice Kisaakye is answering a complaint regarding her conduct as a judge of the Supreme Court which fortunately, was captured on camera and is a matter of public record,” AG Kiryowa clarified.
He added: “Dissenting judgments in our jurisdiction are common in all cases, including electoral petitions. Indeed, in the last four presidential election petitions in which the incumbent president was the respondent, only one outcome has been unanimous. In the event, the IBAHRI and CLA, as associations of lawyers, should know that a dissenting judgment does not alter the majority decision of a court.”
On March 14, the Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association in a statement said they were concerned about reports that the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) had recommended the removal of Justice Kisaakye from office on account of dissenting in the Kyagulanyi poll petition.
The JSC had on February 8 asked President Museveni to appoint a tribunal to investigate the removal of Justice Kisaakye from office, having established through an inquiry, a prima facie case of misconduct.
On March 18, 2021, the Supreme Court was thrown into pandemonium after Justice Kisaakye’s file was allegedly confiscated on the orders of Chief Justice before she read her dissenting ruling (8:1) after Mr Kyagulanyi withdrew the presidential petition, challenging Mr Museveni’s election victory.
Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo denied confiscating her file.
To that effect, the JSC initiated an inquiry into the cause of the events at the highest court and recommended that a tribunal is set up by the President and she is investigated with the possibility of being removed from office.
The Commonwealth lawyers were also concerned about whether the due process leading to the recommendations to President Museveni to establish a tribunal to investigate Justice Kisaakye with the possibility of being removed from office were followed by the JSC.
Questions have arisen about whether due process was followed during the disciplinary proceedings.
But in response, the AG in his statement, said Justice Kisaakye was given every opportunity to defend herself against the allegations slapped against her.
“It’s falsehood to state, as the IBAHRI and CLA have unfortunately done, that due process was not followed in the investigations by the JSC. Justice Kisaakye was granted every accommodation to present her response to the complaint, both in writing and in person, which she did,” AG stated.
Mr Kiryowa also called upon all those following up on the matter, to remain calm and await the final outcome of the process. It remained unclear by press time last evening whether President Museveni had instituted a tribunal to investigate Justice Kisaakye with the possibility of removing her from office.