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THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA IN THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF UGANDA AT KAMPALA CONSTITUTIONAL PETITION NO._______ OF 2014 1.

CENTRE FOR PUBLIC INTEREST LAW (CEPIL) 2. HUMAN RIGHTS NETWORK FOR JOURNALISTS (HRNJ) 3. EAST AFRICA MEDIA INSTITUTE (EAMI) VERSUS ATTORNEY GENERAL OF UGANDA RESPONDENT

PETITIONERS

PETITION (Under Articles 137(1) and (3) of the Constitution of Uganda and rule 3 of the Constitutional Court (Petitions and References) Rules, S.I. No. 91/2005 and all enabling laws) THE HUMBLE PETITION of Centre for Public Interest Law Limited (CEPIL), Human Rights Network for Journalists (HRNJ), East Africa Media Institute (EAMI) of C/o M B Gimara Advocates, Attorneys & Legal Consultants, P. O. Box 28611, Kampala, Uganda showeth as follows 1. Your First Petitioner is a registered non-governmental organisation in Uganda and a person having an interest in the following matters being inconsistent with the Constitution; Your Second Petitioner is a registered non-governmental organisation in Uganda and a person having an interest in the following matters being inconsistent with the Constitution; Your Third Petitioner is a registered non-governmental organisation in Uganda and a person having an interest in the following matters being inconsistent with the Constitution; Your Petitioners have an interest in the matters herein below that require the interpretation of the Constitution and aver that certain sections of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 are inconsistent with
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and/or in contravention of Articles 29 (1)(a), (b) and (e), 22, 26, 28, 40(2) and 42 of the Constitution; 5. Your Petitioners state: (a) THAT section 6(a) of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 is inconsistent with and/or in contravention of Article 29 (1) (a) and (b) of the Constitution insofar as it is unduly restrictive and vague in requiring a proprietor and an editor to ensure that what is published is not contrary to public morality. (b) THAT section 5(1) (d)of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 is inconsistent and in contravention of Article 28(12) of the Constitution insofar as it is vague when it provides for certain particulars which must also be registered , grants an unfettered discretion to the Council and the Minister to set additional particulars which must all be registered, does not protect anonymous publications and the prohibited conduct is unclear yet contravention of the section amounts to a criminal offence. (c) THAT sections 8, 11 and 30 of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 read together with sections 9, 10 (2) and 40 (3) are inconsistent with and/or in contravention of Article 29(1) insofar as they give the Minister wide powers to intervene in the Media Council and Disciplinary Committee leaving the Council and Committee dependent on government yet these bodies have powers which clearly interfere with the freedom of the press. (d) THAT section 9(1) (e) & (2) of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 is inconsistent with and/or in contravention of Article 29(1) (a) of the Constitution insofar as it grants wide unfettered powers to the Council to censor films, video tapes and plays. (e) THAT section 16 (2) and (3) read together with section 26 of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 are inconsistent with and/or in contravention of Articles 29(1) (a) and (b) and 40(2) of the Constitution insofar as it requires mandatory enrollment and imposes stringent licensing conditions for journalists and editors as preconditions to practicing Journalism in Uganda. (f) THAT section 17 (b) and (c) of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 is inconsistent with and/ or in contravention of Article 29(1) and 40(2) of the Constitution insofar as it provides for
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disqualification of journalists from practicing journalism on vague grounds and also unduly restricts the right to practice the profession of journalism which right is guaranteed under the Constitution. (g) THAT section 27(5) of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 is inconsistent with and/or in contravention of Article 29(1)(a), 40 (2) and 28(12)of the Constitution insofar as it proffers an unduly wide definition of practicing journalism which does not even require a link with mass media. (h) THAT sections 28 and 29 of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 are inconsistent with and/or in contravention with Article 29 (1) (a) and (e) of the Constitution insofar as they restrict the right of a person to practice Journalism unless the person has enrolled, acquired an accreditation card, complied with all the terms the Council has set and has complied with all orders under the Act. (i) THAT sections 31 and 32 of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 read together are inconsistent with and/or in contravention of Article 28 (12) and 42 the Constitution insofar as they provide for the institution of complaints against journalists with an unclear procedure that is subject to amendment by the Minister in section 10(2) of the Act. (j) THAT Sections 34 (3) and 39(1) & (2) of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 are inconsistent with and /or in contravention of Articles 29 (1), 28, 42 and 26 insofar as they provide for suspension of journalists from practicing journalism, seizure of their material and/or banning of publications pending appeal. (k) THAT sections 40(3) and 42(2) (d) of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 is inconsistent with and/or in contravention of Articles 29(1) (a) and 28(12) of the Constitution insofar as it places a standard-less sweep of powers in the Ministers hands to amend the Fourth Schedule and make regulations under which journalists can be held criminally liable and lose their license to practice journalism. (l) THAT section 42 of the Press and Journalists Act Cap 105 is inconsistent with and/or in contravention of Articles 29(1) (a) and (e), 40(2) and 42 of the Constitution insofar as it places in the
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Ministers hands the power to make regulations to determine the particulars and other matters to enable one to practice journalism. (m) THAT Section 40(2) of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 is inconsistent with and/or in contravention of Articles 29 (1), 42 and Article 28(1) of the Constitution in that it gives the Committee the power to institute proceedings of its own motion and deal with journalists as it thinks fit without adequate guidelines and effective control or reference to section 31 or 32. (n) THAT Sections 31, 32, 33 and paragraph 6 of the 4th schedule of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 are inconsistent with and/ or in contravention of Articles 29(1) (a), 28 and 42 of the Constitution insofar as the complaints procedure against journalists does not comply with the basic principles of natural justice and they make no attempt to accommodate other existing remedies existing under Ugandan law leading to possibilities of double jeopardy and unfair proceedings, and they also have no guidelines of award of compensation by the Committee. (o) THAT section 37 and paragraph 3 of the 1st schedule of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 are inconsistent and/or in contravention of articles 28(1) and 42 and 29(1) (a) of the Constitution insofar as any order made by the Council may unquestionably be received as valid evidence in courts of law even with flawed composition of, and voting by the Council. (p) THAT sections 16, 17, 27 and 28 of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 are inconsistent with and /or in contravention of Article 29 (1) (a) and (e) and 40(2) of the of the Constitution insofar as they deny individuals the right to gather, process, publish or disseminate information for payment without a qualification in journalism and other criteria prescribed. (q) THAT Section 28(b) of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 is inconsistent with and /or in contravention of Article 29(1) of the Constitution insofar as it is vague as to what orders are referred to when refusing to grant a journalist a practicing certificate. (r) THAT section 16(3) of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 is inconsistent and/or in contravention of article 29(1) (a) of the Constitution in so far as it disqualifies an individual if he or she has not complied with such requirements as may be specified in
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the bye laws made in that behalf by the Institute thus leaving the fundamental right of freedom of the press and media under the whim of any individual or body. (s) THAT the fourth schedule as a whole and clauses 1, 2 and 7 in particular of the Code of Ethics under the 4th Schedule are inconsistent and/or in contravention of article 29(1) (a) insofar as they are made amendable by the Minister, have broadly-worded clauses made the subject of disciplinary adjudication by a nonindependent body and which attract severe disproportionate penalties. (t) THAT sections 27(2), 16(1), 27(1) and 29 (2) of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 are inconsistent with and/or in contravention Article 29(1) (a) of the Constitution insofar as they make the freedom to practice journalism conditional upon obtaining a license and/or its renewal on an annual basis. (u) THAT section 41 of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 is inconsistent with and/or in contravention of Articles 29, 22 and 40(2) of the Constitution insofar as the qualifications introduced apply retrospectively as to deny an individual his or her profession and also the source of livelihood. (v) THAT sections 27(1) and 28 of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 are inconsistent and/or in contravention with Article 29(1) (a) & (e) and 40(2) of the Constitution insofar as they require one to compulsorily join an association in order to practice the profession of journalism. WHEREFORE your petitioners pray that the Honorable Court declares that(i) Section 6(a) of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 is inconsistent with and/or in contravention of Article 29 (1) (a) and (b) of the Constitution, undermines the freedom of the press and media, and is therefore null and void. (ii) Section 5(1) (d) of the Uganda Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 is inconsistent with and/or in contravention of Articles 28(12) and 29 (1)(a) of the Constitution, undermine the right to freedom of expression, the press and other media, right to a fair hearing and therefore null and void.
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(iii)

Sections 8, 11 and 30 of the Uganda Press and Journalist Act are inconsistent with and/or in contravention of Article 29(1) (a) of the Constitution, undermine the right to freedom of expression, the press and other media and are therefore null and void. Sections 9, 10(2), 40(3) of the Press and Journalist Act, Cap 105 are inconsistent with and/or in contravention of Article 29(1) (a) of the Constitution because they undermine the right to freedom of expression, the press and other media, and therefore null and void.

(iv)

(v) Section 9(1) (e) and (2) of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 is inconsistent with and /or in contravention of Article 29 (1) and 40(2) of the Constitution because it undermines the right to freedom of expression, press and other media and is therefore null and void. (vi) Section 17(b) &(c) of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 is inconsistent with and/or in contravention of Article 29 (1) (a) and 40(2) of the Constitution because it undermines the right to freedom of expression, press, and other media and the right to practice ones profession and is therefore null and void.

(vii) Section 27(5) of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 is inconsistent with and/or in contravention of Article 29 (1) (a), 40(2) and 28(12) of the Constitution because it undermines the right to freedom of expression, press and other media, freedom to practice ones profession and the right to a fair hearing and is therefore null and void. (viii) Sections 28 and 29 of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 are inconsistent with and /or in contravention of Article 29(1) (a) and (e) of the Constitution because they undermine the right to freedom of expression, the press and other media, freedom to join or not to join associations, and are therefore null and void. (ix) Sections 34 (3) and 39(1) & (2) of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 are inconsistent with and /or in contravention of Article 29 (1) (a), 26, 28 and 42 of the Constitution because they undermine the right to the freedom of expression, press and other media, to practice ones profession, the right to own property and fair hearing, and is therefore null and void.
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(x)

Sections 10 (2), 40(3) and 42 of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 are inconsistent with and/or in contravention of Articles 29(1) (a), 40(2) and 42 of the Constitution because they undermine the right to freedom of expression, press and other media, to practice ones profession and the right to a fair hearing -and therefore null and void. Section 40(2) of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 is inconsistent with and/or in contravention of Articles 29 (1), 42 and 28 of the Constitution because it undermines the right to freedom of expression, press and other media , to practice ones profession and the right to a fair hearing and therefore null and void.

(xi)

(xii) Sections 31, 32 and 33, paragraph 6 of the 6th schedule of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 are inconsistent with and/or in contravention of Articles 29(1) (a), 28 and 42 of the Constitution because it undermines the right to freedom of expression, press and other media, the right to a fair hearing and therefore null and void. (xiii) Section 37 and the 3rd paragraph of the 1st schedule of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 are inconsistent with and/or in contravention of Article 29(1) (a), 28(1) and 42 of the Constitution because it undermines the right to freedom of expression, press and other media, the right to a fair hearing and therefore null and void. (xiv) Sections 16, 17, 27 and 28 of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 are inconsistent with and/ in contravention of Article 29(1) (a) and (b) of the Constitution because they undermine the right to freedom of expression, press and other media and therefore null and void. (xv) Section 28(b) of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 is inconsistent with and/or in contravention of Article 29(1) (a) of the Constitution because it undermines the right to freedom of expression, press and other media and therefore null and void. (xvi) Section 16(3) of the Press and Journalist Act inconsistent with and/or in contravention of Article (b) of the Constitution because it undermines the freedom of expression, press and other media and null and void.
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Cap 105 is 29(1) (a) and right to therefore

(xvii) The fourth schedule and specifically paragraphs 1, 2 and 7 of the thereof of the Press and Journalist Act are inconsistent with and/or in contravention of Article 29(1) (a) of the Constitution because they undermine the right to freedom of expression, press and other media and therefore null and void. (xviii) Sections 27 (2), 16 (1), 28(1) and 29 (2) of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 are inconsistent with and/or in contravention of Article 29 of the Constitution because they undermine the right to freedom of expression, press and other media and therefore null and void. (xix) Section 41 of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 is inconsistent with and/or in contravention of Articles 29, 22, 40(2) of the Constitution because it undermines the right to freedom of expression, press and media; the right to livelihood; and the right to practice a profession and therefore null and void. (xx) Sections 27(1) and 28 of the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 are inconsistent with and/or in contravention of Article 29(1) (a) and (e) of the Constitution because they undermine the right to freedom of expression, press and media, to practice ones profession and therefore null and void. (xxi) Any other remedies as the Court may deem fit to grant to the Petitioners.

DATED at Kampala this ______day of ________________2014

Our address is c/o: MB Gimara Advocates, Attorneys & Legal Consultants, Social Security House, 5th floor, Northern Wing, Plot No.4 Jinja Road, P.O. Box 28611, Kampala, Uganda (e-mail:francis@mbgadvocates.com.

_______________________________________________ MB Gimara Advocates Counsel for the Petitioners LODGED in the Registry of the Court this ____of ____________2014

__________________________________________ REGISTRAR COURT OF APPEAL/CONSTITUTIONAL COURT

To be served upon: Attorney Generals Chambers Ministry of Justice & Constitutional Affairs Plot No. 1 Parliament Avenue P.O.Box 7183 Kampala-Uganda Drawn & Filed by: M B Gimara Advocates, Attorneys & Legal Consultants Social Security House, 5th floor (Northern Wing) Plot No.4 Jinja Road PO.Box 28611 Kampala-Uganda