The trial of civilians before courts martial in Uganda: Analysing the jurisprudence of Ugandan courts in the light of the drafting history of articles 129(1)(d) and 120(a) of the constitution
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Unlike in the constitutions of other African countries such as Botswana and Lesotho, where the relationship between the High Court and courts martial is stipulated, the Ugandan Constitution 1995 (the Constitution) does not deal with this relationship. The Constitution is also silent on the question of whether courts martial have jurisdiction over civilians. The Uganda Peoples' Defence Forces Act (the UPDF Act) creates different types of courts martial with varying jurisdictions (section 197). The Act also provides (section 119) for the circumstance in which the General Court Martial has jurisdiction over civilians and appeals against the decisions of the General Court Martial lie to the Court Martial Appeal Court, which is the final appellate court except in cases where the offender is sentenced to death or life imprisonment.