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Protecting children from those who are supposed to protect them! The Uganda Human Rights Commission and children's right to freedom from torture.


The Uganda Human Rights Commission (the UHRC or the Commission), was established under Article 51 of the Constitution of Uganda (1) (the Constitution), and the Uganda Human Rights Commission Act (2) with the mandate to promote and protect the human rights and freedoms under the Bill of Rights in the Constitution. (3) These rights include the right to freedom from torture in Article 24 (4) of the Constitution which is one of the non-derogable rights under Article 44. Since its establishment, the UHRC has found, in hundreds of complaints, the right to freedom from torture to have been violated by both public officials and private individuals with the former being the leading culprits. (5)Torture victims in both categories have been awarded pecuniary damages of varying degrees generally categorized in three groups: general damages, special damages, and punitive damages. (6) These violations have taken place in both war-torn, (especially in the northern Uganda), (7) and peaceful areas. Until January 2007, all torture victims that the UHRC awarded damages had been adults. However, on 21 January 2007 in Omony Charles v Attorney General, (8) the UHRC held that the Uganda People's Defence Forces, the UPDF, had tortured a 14-year old boy, Omony Charles. The U H RC ordered the Attorney-General, because the UPDF officers were acting in their official capacity when they tortured Omony, to compensate him for the torture inflicted. In its judgment, the UHRC ruled that Omony had been tortured in violation of the Constitution, the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, (9) the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, (10) and the Children Act. However. the UHRC did not refer to children-specific treaties to which Uganda is a State Party which also specifically prohibit torture. In this comment, the author takes issue with this approach. The author also argues that although Omony was awarded damages, this might not deter UPDF officers from torturing children again. This is because torture is not a crime in Uganda and also that there is evidence that the government rarely compensates torture victims. The author recommends that torture should be criminalized in Uganda.


On 29 October 2003 (11) one Mr. Augustine Kibwota, relying on Article 52(1)(a) of the Constitution, (12) filed a complaint before the UHRC, Gulu regional office, (13) on behalf of his son, Omony Charles, the complainant, who had been arrested from a primary school and detained in an unknown place by the UPDF soldiers. Mr. Kibwota stated that his son was arrested on 22 October 2003 by UPDF soldiers on suspicion that he was in possession of a stolen gun. He added that during his arrest he was "beaten very badly by the UPDF soldiers, after which he was taken away and briefly detained at Bravo army detach and later taken to the 4th Division headquarters." (14) He also stated that his son was released on 15 November 2003 without any charges being preferred against him. He asked the UHRC to verify whether his son's right to freedom from torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment protected under Article 24 of the Constitution was violated. (15) The UHRC recorded the following as the evidence adduced by the complainant regarding the process and methods of torture used on him:
   [After his arrest] they took him to his home ... and ...
   demanded that he gives them the gun which allegedly had
   been brought to him the previous day [by his friend]. That
   when he told them that he did not know anything about the
   gun, they tied his hands and began beating him ... [T]hey
   took him to Bravo army detach where they tied him on a tree
   and continued beating him seriously as they demanded that
   he produces the gun ... That after a long time of terrible
   beating while tied on a tree, he was untied and they began to
   drop melted plastic pieces on his legs, but he still maintained
   his total ignorance about the gun. That they then made him
   lay on a swam of insects which bit him seriously. That after
   all this they took him back to his home and still demanded
   that he produces the gun ... That they then fired a bullet
   between his legs and another one over his head, and
   continued beating him terribly as they rolled him in the dust.
   That when his father heard gun shots and came back home
   from working in his gardens and found them beating him, he
   asked them why they were beating his son, but they never
   replied him but instead started boxing him and he lost his
   two teeth in the process. (16) ... [They took the complainant to
   the 4'h Division headquarters where they continued beating
   him]. He was then taken to a cell and locked up till the next
   day when he was brought out and still asked about the gun
   which he still maintained his total ignorance about. That
   they brought out some pistols, displayed them and warned
   him that if he did not tell them the truth about the gun, they
   were going to put him on a firing squad, but he still told
   them the same answer that he did not know anything about
   the alleged gun. That they warned him that if he did not tell
   them about the whereabouts of the gun, they were going to
   detain him until the gun was found. (17)

The complainant's father testified that his son was detained illegally for 27 days. He added that on his release, he "had some injury scars on his back and chest, and was complaining of general body pains, and he kept getting treatment at a local clinic." (18) In addition to his father's evidence, two other witnesses testified that they saw the complainant when he had been arrested and being tortured by the soldiers. Counsel for the respondents denied that the complainant had been tortured and argued that the "acts meted on the complainant by [the] soldiers were intended to arouse fear and make the complainant just admit that he had the gun even if he did not." (19)


The UHRC found that all the evidence adduced by the complainant was not disputed by the respondent. The Commission also found that all the three witnesses on behalf of the complainant were credible. Counsel for the respondent also failed to summon before the Commission the soldiers who allegedly tortured the complainant, arguing that they had been deployed in Southern Sudan and could therefore not be available to deny the allegations against them. The Commission held that the submission that the soldiers who tortured the complainant were out of the country "was a mere fantasy" because if the respondent was serious about the case, the soldiers would have needed at most three days to travel to the Commission and adduce evidence and return to official duties. (20) The Commission held that although there was no expert evidence to the effect, the manner in which the complainant was treated amounted to torture within the meaning of Article I of the Convention against Torture. (21) The Commission thus held that it:
   [W]as able to observe scars on the complainant's back,
   hands and legs which he claims were injuries resulting from
   acts of torture by the UPDF soldiers. The Tribunal was also
   able to see scars on the complainant's legs which were a
   result of melted plastics which were allegedly dripped on his
   right leg...The fact that twelve UPDF soldiers meted
   gratuitous acts of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading
   treatment on a fourteen-year-old complainant makes the
   situation more grievously gruesome. (22)

The Commission concluded that torture was absolutely prohibited under Articles 24 and 44 of the Constitution and Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights. (23) The Commission invoked Article 53(2)(b) and (c) of the Constitution (24) to award the complainant the sum of 18, 000, 000 Uganda Shillings (25) in general and exemplary damages for the violation of his right to freedom from torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. The Commission added that it awarded that amount because it took into consideration the following factors: the complainant was a minor; he was a pupil; he was detained in a military facility for 27 days; and that he was tortured. (26) The discussion now shifts to the evaluation of the Commission's ruling.


In order to critically analyze whether the Commission's ruling furthers the protection of children's rights in Uganda, especially the right to freedom from torture, the author will first deal with the background to the children's rights in the Constitution.


Children's rights took a central part not only during the nationwide consultations that preceded that drafting of the Constitution of Uganda, but also during the debates in the Constituent Assembly at which the provisions of the draft Constitution were discussed and adopted. The Uganda Constitutional Commission. which was established by the government to consult Ugandans on, among other things, what rights and freedoms should be included in the new Constitution, wrote that "the concerns about children were extensively and strongly argued in people's submissions." (27) The submissions focused, inter alia, on the "failure of our society to respect, defend and protect children in all circumstances." (28) The Constitutional Commission highlighted that people were specifically concerned that: children of refugees and immigrants did not have "clear citizenship" with the result that they are neither officially Ugandans nor citizens of their parents' countries of origin; (29) several children had been denied the right to know their parents and as a result grew up "without a family, parental care and love"; (30) and that society generally discriminated against children born out of wedlock and that such children were often mistreated by their step-parents. (31) The Constitutional Commission mentioned further that Ugandans were of the view that society did not sufficiently protect children with the result that many children are physically assaulted and "sometimes inhumanely or cruelly mistreated" not only by parents, relatives and guardians, but also by "other adults without the State taking a strong stand for their rights." (32) According to the Constitutional Commission, people expressed concern that some children had been abandoned by their parents, relatives or guardians. (33) Many children were also disabled and malnourished which was attributable to lack of nutrition and proper medical care. (34) Furthermore, child labor was becoming rampant. (35) The Constitutional Commission also reported that many Ugandans were dismayed about the reality that several children had been denied the right to education, (36) and orphaned children were sometimes deprived of the property left behind by their parents. (37) Similarly, some children had been murdered and sacrificed for ritual purposes while others abused drugs and alcohol. (38) The Constitutional Commission concluded that:
   The new Constitution is looked upon by most people who
   submitted views on the subject as a powerful means of
   responding positively to these concerns and offering
   effective machinery and institutions for the survival,
   protection and development of children's rights. (39)

In its recommendations to the Constituent Assembly. the Constitutional Commission observed that "[t]here was a clear consensus on the view that respect for the rights of children is one of the best guarantees of a better and democratic future for Uganda." (40) The Constitutional Commission recommended that the new Constitution should protect the following children's rights: right to respect, citizenship and know their parents; (41) parental care and love, family education, and not to be separated from their parents against their will unless such separation is in the best interest of the child; (42) freedom from discrimination; (43) medical care at the State's expense where parents cannot afford; (44) the right to grow up in an environment conducive for their development; (45) the right to free and compulsory primary education; (46) protection from economic exploitation and child labor; (47) right to a fair trial in juvenile courts; (48) the rights of the orphaned and abandoned children; (49) and that every child's right to food, shelter and clothing should be guaranteed. In cases where parents cannot afford to provide those necessities to the child, "it should be the responsibility of the State and the society to do so." (50) The Constitutional Commission recommended further that the State should take all appropriate measures, including judicial, legislative and administrative, to ensure that children's rights were protected, promoted and implemented. (51) However, the Constitutional Commission also recommended that the new Constitution should provide the following as some of the duties of the children: "(i) to love their parents, be obedient to them, respect them and assist them in the family; (ii) to accept to be educated by their parents and teachers in order to become responsible citizens; and (iii) all other duties of a citizen which are not reserved for adults only." (52)

It is upon that background that the Constituent Assembly debated the provisions relating to children's rights. Delegates went through each and every proposal made by the Constitutional Commission. (53) However, it was the provision on the children's right to life, particularly whether the law should authorize a woman to terminate her pregnancy, which took most of their time. (54) It is upon that basis that the Constitution was drafted with provisions protecting children's rights (55), with a child defined as a person under the age of 18 years under Article 257(c). However, it is Article 34 which is entirely dedicated to the protection of the rights of children in the following terms:

(1) Subject to laws enacted in their best interests, children shall have the right to know and be cared for by their parents or those entitled by law to bring them up. (2) A child is entitled to basic education which shall be the responsibility of the State and the parents of the child. (3) No child shall be deprived by any person of medical treatment, education or any other social or economic benefit by reason of religious or other beliefs. (4) Children are entitled to be protected from social or economic exploitation and shall not be employed in or required to perform work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with their education or to be harmful to their health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development. (5) For the purposes of clause (4) of this article, children shall be persons under the age of sixteen years. (6) A child offender who is kept in lawful custody or detention shall be kept separately from adult offenders. (7) The law shall accord special protection to orphans and other vulnerable children.

In order to give effect to Article 34 of the Constitution, the Children Act (56) was enacted and came into force in 1997. Although the Children Act provides for several children's rights, (57) it does not expressly prohibit torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. However, it prohibits a Children and Family Court from imposing corporal punishment on any child. (58) The Constitutional Court of Uganda held that corporal punishment amounted to torture, cruel inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment within the meaning of Article 24 and 44(a) of the Constitution. (59) There is also jurisprudence from other African countries, such as, South Africa and Namibia, and from international and regional human rights bodies, such as, the Human Rights Committee, the Committee against Torture, and the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, to the effect that corporal punishment amounts to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. (60)


As shown above, the Constitutional Commission highlighted the fact that children's rights, including the right to human dignity, had been violated in the past and that the new Constitution should expressly protect such rights. The UHRC ruling shows that the Uganda Peoples' Defence Forces soldiers, who, under the Constitution (61) and the Uganda Peoples' Defence Forces Act, (62) are supposed to be disciplined and foster harmony between the defense force and the civilians and also protect the sovereignty and integrity of Uganda, failed in their duties when they violated the complainant's right to freedom from torture. It has to be recalled that these violations took place in a war torn area where the army plays the role of the police in keeping law and order. In other words, in these areas, the army is supposed to protect children and other people from human rights violations. The UHRC should be commended for referring not only to the Convention against Torture but also to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights to hold that the complainant's right to freedom from torture was violated. This is especially so because the Constitution of Uganda does not expressly require any judicial or quasi-judicial body to refer to international law including international treaties in interpreting the Bill of Rights or in finding the violation of any right in the Bill of Rights. However, one would have expected the UHRC to also refer to the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, which Uganda ratified on 17 August 1994, and which provides in Article 16(I) that "State Parties to the present Charter shall take specific legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment and especially physical or mental injury or abuse, neglect or maltreatment including sexual abuse...." In the same vein, one would also have expected the UHRC to refer to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Uganda ratified on 16 September 1990, and which provides under Article 37(a) that "States Parties shall ensure that no child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." (63) This is so because the complainant was a child.

One would have to be optimistic in the extreme to think that the UHRC decision will deter military officers from torturing children in the future. This is because of one major reason: torture is not a crime in Uganda. Although the Constitution makes the right to freedom from torture nonderogable, Uganda is yet to criminalize torture despite calls to do so by the United Nations Committee against Torture (64) as required by Article 4 of the UN Convention against Torture. (65) The result is that when military officers torture people, the only remedy for the victims is to sue the Attorney-General for damages by invoking the legal principle of vicarious liability. (66) The perpetrators are never brought to book. This acts as an incentive for them to continue torturing innocent civilians. The second problem is that even if the complainant was awarded that huge amount of money, it may take years before he is compensated. This is because in numerous reports to Parliament, the UHRC expresses dissatisfaction at the government's inability to compensate victims of human rights violations. For example, in its 2007 Annual report to Parliament, the UHRC painted the following depressing picture:
   The Commission continues to face the challenge of
   government delaying in compensating victims of human
   rights violations as awarded by the Commission Tribunal in
   cases brought against the Attorney General. The
   Commission has over the years made awards to victims of
   human rights violations whose cases were proven
   successfully. The majority of the victims awarded
   compensation have not been able to access it. The
   Commission has in its previous annual reports made
   recommendations to government for timely compensation
   but to no avail. The Commission has noted efforts by the
   Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs/Attorney
   General to pay off these awards although they remain
   wanting. The mode of payment itself leaves a lot to be
   desired. For example, someone who was awarded
   compensation worth Ug. Shs. 59,000,000 had as at 31st
   December 2007 been paid in two installments but still
   remained with an outstanding balance of Ug. Shs.
   15.321, III. This mode of payment defeats the purpose of
   the Commission Tribunal in making such awards. (67)

The ruling also highlights one important issue: that the UHRC will not insist on medical evidence where there are credible witnesses in support of the complainant's allegations that he was tortured and also where there are scars on the victim's body to corroborate his torture allegations. It is argued that this approach has two major flaws: one, the assumption that it will always be possible for victims of torture to invite credible witnesses, and, two, the assumption that torture victims will always have or in most cases have scars on their bodies inflicted by their torturers. It has to be recalled that the definition of torture under Article I of the Convention against Torture, on which the UHRC relied in this complaint, provides, inter alia, that torture is the infliction of severe pain and suffering which could be physical or mental. This means that there are cases, if mental torture is used, for example, where there will never be scars on the victim's body. It has to be underscored that in this complaint, the complainant alleged that he had been threatened with death. This was mental torture but it appears that the UHRC did not take it into consideration in awarding him damages. Had it taken that into consideration, it would probably have awarded him more damages. It should also be recalled that not every scar on the torture victim's body could have been as a result of torture. It is vital that in the future the UHRC should have the victim examined by a medical expert, preferably one experienced in investigating allegations of torture, so that it bases its findings on expert medical evidence.


The preceding analysis and commentary has highlighted the complaint in which a 14-year-old boy was tortured by UPDF officers on allegations that he was in possession of a firearm illegally. The UHRC awarded him 18 million Uganda shillings in both exemplary and general damages, in finding that the complainant's right to freedom from torture was violated, the UHRC relied on the Convention against Torture and the African Charter on Human and Peoples" Rights. It is recommended that in the future should any compliant be brought before the UHRC involving the rights of a child and it finds it necessary to refer to international human rights treaties, its first point of reference should be the children's rights specific treaties, that is, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This recommendation is made because during the drafting of the Constitution, Constituent Assembly delegates referred to those two instruments on questions relating to the inclusion of children's rights in the Constitution. (68) Although the government of Uganda is reputed for not compensating torture victims on time, it is called upon to fast tract this case because the victim of torture was a child so that this money is used for his rehabilitation and support as he overcomes the traumatic experience that he went through at the hands of the military officers.


(1.) Constitution of Uganda (1995). In terms of Article 52 of the Constitution, the Uganda Human Rights Commission has the following functions: "(a) to investigate, at its own initiative or on a complaint made by any person or group of persons against the violation of any human right; (b) to visit jails, prisons, and places of detention or related facilities with a view of assessing and inspecting conditions of the inmates and make recommendations: (c) to establish a continuing program of research, education, and information to enhance respect of human rights; (d) to recommend to Parliament effective measures to promote human rights, including provision of compensation to victims of violations of human rights or their families; (e) to create and sustain within society the awareness of the provisions of th[e] Constitution as the fundamental law of the people of Uganda; (f) to educate and encourage the public to defend th[e] Constitution at all times against all forms of abuse and violation; (g) to formulate, implement and oversee programs intended to inculcate in the citizens of Uganda awareness of their civic responsibilities and an appreciation of their rights and obligations as flee people; (h) to monitor the Government's compliance with international treaty and convention obligations on human rights; and (i) to perform such other functions as may be provided by law."

(2.) Uganda Human Rights Commission Act, Act 4 of 1997.

(3.) Chapter IV of the Constitution of Uganda.

(4.) For the drafting history of Article 24 of the Constitution see Jamil Ddamulira Mujuzi, "Execution by Hanging Not Torture or Cruel Punishment? Attorney General v Susan Kigula and Others"', Malawi Law Journal, Vol. 3, No.1, (June 2009), pp. 136 137.

(5.) See Jamil Ddamulira Mujuzi "The Uganda Human Rights Commission and the Protection and Promotion of the Rights to Freedom from Torture (1997-2006)", International Journal of Civil Society Law, Vol. V, No. IV (October 2007), pp. 97--114. Available at (accessed May 2, 2009).

(6.) Ibid., pp. 110--113.

(7.) Northern Uganda has experienced political instability since the mid 1980 where a terrorist group, the Lord's Resistance Army, have been fighting the Uganda government. The war has been accompanied by unspeakable human rights violations and to the extent that the International Criminal Court issued warrants of arrest for the rebel leaders to stand trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

(8.) Omony Charles v Attorney General, Complaint No. G/289/2003 (on file with author).

(9.) Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 39/46 of December 10, 1984 and entered into force on June 26, 1987. Uganda acceded to this treaty on November 3, 1986.

(10.) Adopted June 27, 1981, OAU.Doc.CAB/LEG/67/3 rev. 5, 21 I.L.M 58 (1982), entered into force October 21, 1986. Uganda ratified this treaty on May 10, 1986.

(11.) Although the judgment erroneously indicated that the matter was filed on 29 October 2005. This cannot be true because the complaint is registered as having been filed in 2003 that is why the file number ends with "2003." Secondly, other paragraphs of the judgment show that the complaint was lodged earlier than 2005.

(12.) Article 52(1)(a) of the Constitution empowers the UHRC "to investigate, at its own initiative or on a complaint made by any person or group of persons against the violation of any human right."

(13.) The UHRC has six regional offices countrywide in the following districts: Gulu, Soroti, Mbarara, Fort Portal, Jinja and Moroto. See (accessed June 28, 2009).

(14.) Omony Charles v Attorney General, p. 1.

(15.) He also alleged that his right to personal liberty under Article 23 was violated.

(16.) Omony Charles v Attorney General, p. 2.

(17.) Ibid, p. 3.

(18.) Ibid., p. 4.

(19.) Ibid., p. 7.

(20.) Ibid., p. 5.

(21.) Article I of the Convention against Torture defines torture to mean "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.'" For a detailed discussion of the drafting history of Article I of the Convention against Torture see Manfred Nowak and Elizabeth McArthur, The United Nations Convention against Torture: ,4 Commentao, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), pp. 27-86.

(22.) Omony Charles v Attorney General, p. 7.

(23.) Ibid., p. 8.

(24.) Article 53(2)(b) and (c) provide that "the commission may, if satisfied that there has been an infringement of a human right or freedom, order ... (b) payment of compensation; or (c) any other legal remedy or redress."

(25.) Approximately USD 9000.00.

(26.) Omony Charles v Attorney General, p. 9.

(27.) Report of the Uganda Constitutional Commission: Analysis and Recommendations (Entebbe, UPPC, 1992) paragraph 7.71.

(28.) Ibid. paragraph 7.71.

(29.) Ibid paragraph 7.71(a).

(30.) Ibid. paragraph 7.71(b).

(31.) Ibid. paragraph 7.71(c)

(32.) Ibid. paragraph 7.71(d). See also paragraph 7.71(h).

(33.) Ibid. paragraph 7.71 (e).

(34.) Ibid. paragraph 7.71 (f).

(35.) Ibid paragraph 7.71 (g).

(36.) Ibid. paragraph 7.71 (i).

(37.) Ibid paragraph 7.71 (j).

(38.) Ibid paragraph 7.71 (l).

(39.) Ibid. paragraph 7.72.

(40.) Ibid. paragraph 7.93.

(41.) Ibid. paragraph 7.145 (a).

(42.) Ibid. paragraph 7.145 (b).

(43.) Ibid. paragraph 7.145 (c).see also paragraph 7.145(k) in relation to children born out of wedlock.

(44.) Ibid. paragraph 7.145 (d).

(45.) Ibid. paragraph 7.145 (e).

(46.) Ibid. paragraph 7.145 (f).

(47.) Ibid. paragraph 7.145 (g).

(48.) Ibid. paragraph 7.145 (h). See also paragraph 7.145(m) where it was recommended that every child should have a right to seek redress from family courts against cruelty or neglect of parents or guardians.

(49.) Ibid. paragraph 7.145 (i).

(50.) Ibid. paragraph 7.145 (n).

(51.) Ibid paragraph 7.145 (o).

(52.) Ibid. paragraph 7.145 (p).

(53.) See Proceedings of the Constituent Assembly: Official Report (Entebbe, UPPC, 1994), pp. 2019--2027 (on the right to education); p. 2029 (on the definition of a child); pp. 2039 2044 (on the right to medical care); pp. 2045--2047 (prohibition of child labor); and pp. 2047--2055 (rights of vulnerable children such as orphans).

(54.) Ibid., pp. 2028 2038.

(55.) Article 11 provides for children's right to citizenship; Article 17 provides that every citizen of Uganda has a duty "to protect children ... against any form of abuse, harassment or ill-treatment"; Article 22 protects the right to life of an unborn child; under Article 31(4) parents have a right and a duty to care for and bring up their children; under Article 31(5) children should not be separated from their families or persons entitled to bring them up except in accordance with the law.

(56.) The Children Act, Chapter 59 Laws of Uganda (1997).

(57.) See sections 2--9.

(58.) Section 94(9) of provides that "no child shall be subject to corporal punishment."

(59.) See Simon Kyamanya v Uganda Constitutional Reference I 0 of 2000.

(60.) See generally Nicole O'Neil, "Corporal Punishment in Public Schools: A Call for Legal Reform" (2008) 8 African Human Rights Law Journal, Vol. 8, No. I, (2008) pp. 60--78.

(61.) See Article 208 of the Constitution.

(62.) See section 7 of the Uganda Peoples" Defence Forces Act, 2005.

(63.) For the drafting history of Article 37 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, see William Schabas and Helmut Sax, Article 37." Prohibition of Torture, Death Penalty, Life Imprisonment and Deprivation of Liberty (The Hague, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2006).

(64.) See Conclusions and Recommendations of the Committee against Torture on Uganda's Initial Report, CAT/C/CR/34UGA, 21 June 2005, paragraphs 5 and 10.

(65.) Article 4(1) of the Convention against Torture provides that "Each State Party shall ensure that all acts or torture under its criminal law.'" For a detailed discussion of the drafting history of and the UN Committee against Torture's practice and jurisprudence relating to Article 4 of the Convention against Torture see "'The United Nations Convention against Torture: A Commentary", pp. 229--252.

(66.) The rule of vicarious liability is to the effect that "the principal and agent are jointly and severally liable for the agent's wrongs." See Alan O. Sykes, "The Economics of Vicarious Liability" Yale Law Journal, Vol. 93, No.7, (1984), p 1231. For a discussion of the legal doctrine of vicarious liability, see Harold J. Laski, 'The Basis of Vicarious Liability' Yale Law Journal, Vol. 26, No. 2, (1916), pp. 105-135.

(67.) 10th Annual Report to Parliament of Uganda of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (Kampala, Uganda Human Rights Commission, 2007), paragraph 12.3. Available at annual report.pdf accessed June 28, 2009).

(68.) See "Proceedings of the Constituent Assembly: Official Report ", p. 2016.

By Jamil Ddamulira Mujuzi, Doctoral Researcher. Civil Society Prison Relorm Initiative (CSPRI) Community Law Centre (CLC). University of the Western Cape (UWC) and LLD Candidate, Faculty of Law UWC: LLM (Human Rights and Democratization in Africa) University of Pretoria; LLM (Human Rights Specializing in Reproductive and Sexual Health Rights) University of the Free State; LLB (Hons) Makerere University; Advanced Diploma in International Humanitarian Law, Abo Akademi University, Finland I am indebted to the anonymous referee for their comments on their earlier drafts of this article and to Mr. Nyende Farouk of the Uganda Human Rights Commission for availing me some of the materials I used in this article. Open Society Foundation of South Africa and Ford Foundation's funding to CSPRI and CLC respectively is acknowledged. The usual caveats apply. Email
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Title Annotation:OTHER PAPERS
Author:Mujuzi, Jamil Ddamulira
Publication:Journal of Third World Studies
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:6UGAN
Date:Mar 22, 2011
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