October 4, 2023


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Inside Legal Brains Trust Legal Attack Against the Computer Misuse Amendment Act in the EACJ

Lawyer Isaac Ssemakadde

Authorized Brains Have confidence in, a Kampala centered human legal rights and democracy watchdog on Wednesday, 19th Oct, released a lawful attack in the East Africa Court of Justice from the extensively controversial Laptop or computer Misuse Act Modification which was passed by the Parliament of Uganda in September and assented into legislation by President Yoweri Museveni on 13th Oct, 2022.

The legislation, introduced into Parliament by Kampala legislator Hon. Muhammad Nsereko, who the watchdog describes as a “wayward” Member of Parliament evidently seeks to “enhance” or reinforce the pre-existing legislation, the Laptop or computer Misuse Act of 2011 – alone a controversial legislation.


Nsereko’s legislation purports to create new offences and difficult penalties for offenders. Notably, the regulation criminalizes the recording of a person’s voice or video clip without the need of his/her permission, sharing of data about or that “relates” to a different individual, the sharing of info about a kid with no the consent of his/her parent or guardian, the sharing of “unsolicited” data unless of course in “public curiosity,” the sharing of “malicious” facts, “misuse” of social media, and hate speech. Offenders chance imprisonment of up to 10 a long time and/or fines of up to 15,000,000 UGX.

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In accordance to the petition filed in opposition to the Legal professional Typical, Legal Brains Have confidence in argues that all provisions of Amendment violate the rules of superior governance enshrined less than Article content 6 (d) and 7(2) of the East African Local community Treaty. And will violate liberty of convey on electronic platforms.

In specific, the watchdog claims the legislation infringes on the principles of democracy, the rule of legislation, accountability, transparency, social justice, equal opportunities, as effectively as the recognition, marketing, safety, and maintenance of universally recognized requirements of human rights.

“It is a defectively processed blunt instrument that disproportionately restricts liberty of expression on line on imprecise, extremely wide and unfounded pretexts, and will immediately be weaponised by the Ugandan authorities to silence dissent and protect against individuals from speaking out towards terrible governance.” The watchdog states in its Petition.

Course of action

Authorized Brains Believe in further assaults the way in which the law was taken care of and handed declaring it was in “haste” and devoid of significant general public participation. In so carrying out, the watchdog argues, the governing administration of Uganda abdicated its obligations less than Articles 9, 13, and 25 of the African Constitution on Human and Peoples’ Legal rights, Write-up 25 of the Global Covenant on Civil and Political Legal rights and Content articles 29 (1)(a), 38, and 43 of the Constitution of Uganda.

Write-up 38 of the Structure of Uganda for example offers that: “Every Uganda citizen has the right to take part in the affairs of government, individually or via his or her representatives in accordance with law ” and that: “ Each individual Ugandan has a right to participate in tranquil pursuits to influence the guidelines of governing administration via civic corporations.”

In an affidavit sworn in guidance of the scenario, Ms. Isabella Nakiyonga, a legal officer at Legal Brains Believe in, suggests that MP Nsereko was allowed to current his law with no adducing any evidence of the ills it purportedly intends to remedy and that the Speaker of Parliament Anita Amid did not afford enough time for the regulation to be scrutinized by the Committee on ICT and National Direction. The Speaker, the attorney even further suggests, did not manage ample time for the Property to scrutinize the Committee’s majority and minority reviews.

Ms. Isabella Nakiyonga, who promises to have closely monitored and observed the procedure of passing the Laptop Misuse Modification Act, further alleges that the Committee on ICT and Nationwide Direction “did not adequately discharge the responsibility of guaranteeing community participation in the scrutiny of the invoice [ now law], or the new clauses that the committee belatedly sought to insert in the invoice following the closure of public hearings.”

“I know, for instance, that the standards and procedure adopted by the explained committee fell limited of the requisite diligence, competence, honesty, probity, impartiality, integrity, transparency and accountability as the committee arbitrarily handpicked the stakeholders with whom it interfaced, and unreasonably excluded or sidelined appropriate businesses like the Uganda Regulation Reform Fee which is statutorily mandated to facilitate amendments of this kind” She says, incorporating that:

“I also know that the committee adopted an unreasonably lower or opaque conventional in the course of action of scrutinizing the bill. It did not seek or obtain any evidence from the mover of the bill or any other stakeholder showing irrespective of whether any of the proposed amendments was important. On top of that, the committee unreasonably failed to give adequate fat to the evidence and penned submissions of all stakeholders that known as for rejection of the repugnant and pointless parts of the bill.”

Civil Recourse Additional than Adequate

The watchdog even further dismisses the requirement of this regulation arguing that civil recourse to Justice for victims is adequate and claims that the arguments in aid of the Amendment as captured in the The vast majority report and Hansard of Parliament are illogical, unreasonable, unjustified and out of move with universally acknowledged benchmarks of human rights.

“ For instance, the repeal of section 30(3) of the Laptop or computer Misuse Act, 2011 is not sufficiently justified, and the legal penalties imposed by the impugned Regulation are plainly disproportionate and inappropriate in each and every of the scenarios at concern because civil recourse is a lot more than ample to prevent the apprehended harm from staying precipitated” Ms. Nakiyonga states.

Why the East Africa Courtroom of Justice and not local Judiciary? “Maize are unable to be expecting justice in a court composed of chickens”

Quite a few activists and attorneys have now petitioned the Uganda Constitutional Court docket challenging the constitutionality of the Laptop or computer Misuse Modification Act and the Uganda Legislation Culture, the lawyers’ body has also reportedly expressed curiosity in accomplishing the same.

As a make any difference of truth, the Uganda regulation modern society now has a circumstance in the same Court pending Judgment that was filed in 2019 difficult certain provisions of the Computer Misuse Act, 2011 on nearly similar grounds.

As a result Lawful Brains Believe in has clearly determined to acquire the matter to a various discussion board. Describing, the philosophy powering this lawful system, Lawful Brains Have confidence in Executive Director, Mr. Isaac Ssemakadde claimed the Ugandan Judiciary which he describes as “biased, lethargic, and emasculated” are unable to be entrusted to take care of the case.

“This make any difference is far too significant to be left to the biased, lethargic and emasculated area judiciary. At their 23rd annual conference in February this yr, the senior judges and justices of Uganda passed an anti-democratic resolution literally urging the governing administration to conduct further surveillance and repression of significant voices on the Online.” Mr. Ssemakadde stated, including:

“Ugandan security and intelligence operators, prosecutors, magistrates and even High Court docket judges routinely violate the flexibility of net users with impunity, and the Constitutional Court has abdicated its human legal rights defense mandate by unreasonably failing to decide a dozen petitions difficult draconian provisions in the pre-present laptop misuse legislation considering the fact that its commencement in 2011. Clearly, maize simply cannot expect justice in a court composed of chickens.”

In February, Ugandan Judges handed a “resolution” all through their Meeting not to entertain “ cyber bullying” and “cyber harassment” by Mr. Isaac Ssemakadde and Law firm Male Mabirizi. The resolution arrived after the two had been incredibly critical of Justices Musa Ssekaana and Phillip Odoki.

Ssemakadde has beforehand been arrested in excess of remarks created on the net about the DPP Justice Jane Frances Abodo and additional lately, he has been interrogated about remarks made on the internet about Justice Musa Ssekaana.

Ssemakadde stated in an job interview with NTV Uganda that he has tried out about 20 scenarios touching Computer system Misuse and none has involved an standard Ugandan as a complainant. As a substitute, the complainants have all been powerful govt officers which he states implies the legislation is highly susceptible to abuse by those people in power in opposition to dissenting or vital voices on-line.

Legal Brains Belief needs the To start with Instance Division of the East Africa Court docket of Justice to nullify the Laptop or computer Misuse Modification Act, purchase the authorities of Uganda to stop and desist from implementing any components of the Amendment, buy the government to amend its regulation in accordance with the results of the Courtroom and for the authorities to report again to the Court inside 60 times from the day of judgment. They also want fees of the fit.

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Benjamin M. Ahikiiriza is the founder of thelegalreports.com. He is also its Chief Editor and writes about lawful information.