The Prosecution in Uganda’s Courts of the Offences of Murder and Robbery Committed Abroad and the Right to be Tried before a Competent Court: A Comment on Bakubye & Anor v Uganda (Criminal Appeal No.56 of 2015.) [2018] UGSC 5 (17 January 2018)

  • Jamil Ddamulira Mujuzi
  • University of the Western Cape

Although there are circumstances in which Ugandan courts have jurisdiction over Ugandans who commit offences abroad, Ugandan law is silent on the issue of whether a Ugandan who commits the offences of murder or robbery can be tried in Uganda. In Bakubye & Anor v Uganda the High Court convicted the appellants for the offences of murder and robbery which were committed in Tanzania. Their conviction was confirmed by the Court of Appeal although they argued that, since the offences were committed in Tanzania, the Ugandan High Court did not have jurisdiction to try them. Their appeal to the Supreme Court was dismissed and the Supreme Court did not deal with the issue of whether the High Court had jurisdiction to try the appellants. In this article, it is argued that the High Court did not have jurisdiction over the offences of murder and robbery that the accused committed in Tanzania. The result, based on case law from different courts in Uganda, is that the accused’s right to a fair trial and in particular the right to be tried by a court of competent jurisdiction was violated.

Keywords: Uganda; murder and robbery; abroad; prosecution; competent court; extradition

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Speculum Juris Volume 33
Issue : 
Issue 2