The High Court in Kampala has issued an injunction stopping the Uganda Law Society from convening this afternoon to hold an extraordinary meeting.
The order issued by Civil Division’s Justice Musa Ssekaana on Tuesday follows a successful application by one of the members of the Uganda Law Society Brian Kirima against his professional body where he said he was going to suffer irreparable damages if the meeting went on.
Kirima petitioned the court adding such a meeting could lead to the passing of a resolution that are not only illegal and outrageous but absurd bringing disrepute and embarrassment to the society of which he would suffer as a member.
The issues that were scheduled for this afternoon for discussion were related to the independence of the Judiciary. This follows a President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni ‘s letter dated December 7th 2023 to the Chief Justice Alfonse regarding management and handling of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council property case with businessman Justus Kyabahwa.
As such, Kirima noted that Court should grant him a temporary injunction pending determination of his application for judicial review in which he is challenging the legality of such extraordinary meetings of discussing issues he said we’re outside their mandate as lawyers.
In response, ULS through the affidavit of their Secretary Isaac Atukunda, opposed the application saying that section 3(c) of the Uganda Law Society Act mandates the Society to represent, protect and assist members of the legal profession in Uganda as regards conditions of practice and otherwise.
Based on that, Atukunda said the Society received a petition signed by 17 people and they were satisfied that the petitioners had met the requirements under the ULS Act that warrant convening of an Extraordinary General Meeting.
He said the intended extraordinary general meeting will only discuss and pass resolutions which are within their mandate as provided under the ULS Act.
According to ULS, that the matter raised in the petition for the EGM are matters concerning Rule of Law which they have a mandate to discuss and make resolutions on.
In his ruling Justice Ssekaana has allowed the application and ordered ULS from going ahead with the decision.
“It has also been shown by the applicant that the balance of convenience of convenience lies in maintaining the status quo and the balance of convenience cannot be ignored in such an application which alludes to breach of law or passing of illegal resolutions which will occasion an irreparable damage or injury, such damage or injury cannot be atoned for or compensated in damages,” said Ssekaana.
He added: “A temporary injunction issues against the respondent, restraining it from calling, convening and arranging an extra ordinary general meeting on requisition of member’s petition until the final determination of the main application (cause).”
This the second time the High Court is blocking an extraordinary general meeting called by Uganda Law Society in this year 2024. Last month, the same Court issued an order blocking them from convening to sit and discuss issues related to the management and conduct of Hoima High Court Judge Jesse Byaruhanga Rugyema in the Tilenga Oil Case.
Further, this is the third order being issued against Uganda Law Society by the same Court in this year.
On February 2nd 2024, the Civil Division Judge Boniface Wamala issued an order directing Uganda Law Society to stop sending representatives to statutory bodies without being voted for by all the members . This followed lawyer Steven Kalali ‘s successful petition.
Uganda Radio Network has since learnt that the lawyers are planning to hold a protest in form of a boycott of the Judiciary’s upcoming event of New Law Year on Friday.