Death Penalty Challenged in Supreme Court of Uganda

Tanya Murshed and Alex Chakmakjian have recently returned from Uganda, where they have been representing prisoners in their appeals against conviction and sentence in the Supreme Court.

Working in partnership with the Uganda Law Society, Tanya and Alex were granted Special Practising Certificates by the Law Council of Uganda, which authorised them to appear before the Supreme Court. They represented two brothers who are challenging their convictions for murder and sentences of death.

As a result of their legal arguments, heard on 28th May 2015, the Supreme Court accepted that the Court of Appeal had failed to properly consider the appeal against sentence. The case was ordered to first go back to the Court of Appeal to be reconsidered before dealing with the appeal against conviction in the Supreme Court, expected to take place later this year.

Over the last two weeks, Tanya, Alex and Jacqueline Lule have been assisting and advising legal representatives based in Uganda on other appeals in the Supreme Court. They also worked on progressing the cases of prisoners still waiting to be re-sentenced after the Supreme Court struck down automatic death sentences as unconstitutional in 2009 (Kigula & 416 Ors v Attorney General of Uganda).