One of the saddest things about marriage today is the fact that many couples have decided to dissolve their union. Divorce and separation are one topic that we cannot ignore and with the latest news coming from the Court of Appeal, the distribution of property is one topic that is in dire need of discussion.
Marital property under Ugandan law strictly refers to property that is acquired by persons who were legally married ignoring the fact that several parties within our borders are cohabiting. This is the foundation upon which this article is based. The case of Muwanga Vs Kintu attempted to define marital property, where it was stated that “Matrimonial property is understood differently by different people.
There is always a property that the couple chose to call home. There may be a property which may be acquired separately by each spouse before or after marriage. Then there is the property that a husband may hold in trust for the clan. Each of these should in my view be considered differently. The property to which each spouse should be entitled is that property which the parties chose to call home and which they jointly contribute to.”
This definition was used to justify the previous decision made in the judgment upon which the recent civil appeal case of Ambayo v Aserua was based. The facts of the case were as follows; the appellant and respondent started cohabiting in 1989 to about 2005 when they solemnised their marriage. Within the said period, the couple sired four children and before officially getting married, they acquired land upon which their marital home stands and was purchased and all developments were made to make it a home.
The plot of land was registered solely in the name of the appellant as the purchaser. Proceedings for divorce started in 2012 upon which the judge issued a decree nisi to dissolve the marriage. The judge decided that even though the house was solely in the appellant’s name, it was marital property and it belonged to the couple in equal share. Therefore they were ordered to value and sell it.
The appeal’s outcome has set a precedent in our law as the appellant was aggrieved with the judgement. Under Ugandan law, a spouse is entitled to an equal share in the matrimonial home, property owned jointly, and property acquired during the subsistence of marriage which the parties jointly contributed. The previous judgement considered the plot upon which their marital home stood to be matrimonial property even though it was purchased before their marriage.
“A good marriage is one where each partner secretly suspects they got the better deal.”–Unknown
So what is marital property?
With the case at hand, we agree with the judge. The state of the property in question is matrimonial property even though it was purchased before the appellant and respondent were married. The key is to look at the intention of the parties, in this case, it was to have it as a family home.
Here are the new rules pertaining marital property;
i) Marriage does not give a spouse automatic half-share in marital property upon divorce as was previously expected.
ii) A spouse’s share in marital property is dependent on his or her contribution to it.
iii) Contributions to marital property can either be monetary, not monetary or both.
iv) The non-monetary contribution consists of unpaid care and domestic work rendered by a spouse during the course of the marriage. When court is determining the value of unpaid care and domestic work, it will take into consideration the monetary value principles like the value of cost of similar or substitute services available on the labor or service market.
Building a connection is one of the most vital things in any relationship and a business relationship is no different. As you run a business and sign a contract, this relationship is described as privity. The major rule under the privity of a contract is that no one may be entitled to or bound by the terms of a contract to which he or she is not an original party.
This allows only parties involved in a contract to sue each other against said contract and not a third party. A third party may be a person who is likely to gain something of value from the contract (also known as a third-party beneficiary). Said person has no legal right to take any contract-enforcing action if they do not receive the promised benefits. In the case of Tweddle v Atkinson, it was stated that “no stranger to the consideration can take advantage of a contract, although made for his benefit.”
The perfect example to explain this would be in a tenancy arrangement. If a tenant to a piece of property that was purchased by someone else and a contract stating that the person that sold the property was required to make certain repairs exist. If the said seller did not fulfill the obligation, then a tenant would not be able to sue the seller because they are not in privity with this person. Instead, it would be expected that the party who is named in the contract be the one to bring up a lawsuit.
It’s not all cases that privity to a contract does not rule out the possibility of that entity suing or being sued over matters arising from the contract. The Asante Aviation Ltd V Star Of Africa Air Charters Ltd & 3 Orshis case was an application for an order of specific performance compelling the defendants to sign transfers of an aircraft. The court relied on the concept that only parties to a contract can sue for breach (privity of contract). It observed that one of the exceptions to this rule is where a third party can prove that he/she is a beneficiary of the contract between the two people. The court held that the defendants were third-party beneficiaries since the loan agreement between the first defendant and the second defendant was for their benefit.
Here are a few exceptions where a third party is able to sue under a contract to which they are not privy;
1) Third parties can sue contracting parties if it is proven that the contracting parties were negligent.
2) In instances benefits of a contract may be assigned to a third party.
3) Insurance is the most common exception. A party involved in a car accident can benefit from an insurance company.
4) A third party may sue the seller over defective goods if the third party is affected by the flaws in the goods.
RIGHT TO ACTION
Under the exceptions that have been shared, a third party is allowed to sue for the following remedies;
i) Specific performance
East Africa Law Society is the apex regional bar Association of East Africa. It was jointly founded in 1995 by a group of Lawyers with the support of the leadership of the national Bar Associations of the member states.
The East Africa Law Society works to promote good governance and the rule of law in the East African region. It also has the objective to fast-track the integration of East African communities through targeted support to cross-border commerce, the legal profession, civil societies, business communities and governments. The EALS has a membership of six National Bar Associations of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zanzibar, with procedures to include South Sudan underway.
A community that is engaged and working together can be a powerful force.”-Idowu Koyenikan
OBJECTIVES OF THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY
With the recent East African Law Society elections, our very own Naomi Byabazaire was appointed the Treasurer of the organization. Below is a list of council members who will be governing EALS from 2022-2024.
Hon. Justice Dr. Fauz Twaib
Dr. Edward Hoseah
Muhuzenge Jean de Dieu
If you have ever shared a secret with a friend, this article is for you. Once you open your safety net and share a secret with a friend, you have trusted them with something important with the expectation that they will keep it safe. Forming a trust is similar to this. A trust refers to the duty that rests upon a person described as a trustee. In this type of relationship, one party (called the trustor) gives a second party (called the trustee) the right to hold title to assets or property for the benefit of a third party (called the beneficiary). This type of relationship is fiduciary which means the person who holds this relationship is in a position of trust with one or more parties.
Trust, honesty, humility, transparency and accountability are the building blocks of a positive reputation. Trust is the foundation of any relationship.
There are various reasons why one would form a trust. Various reasons for using a trust exist, these include:
A trust comes in various categories, namely:
With a funded trust, a trustor places assets into a funded trust during their lifetime while in an unfunded trust, said trust is only in existence as a trust agreement and does not include funding however, it may become funded upon the death of the trustor, but it might also stay unfunded.
Living trusts are written documents that provide an individual’s assets as a trust for their benefit and use during their lifetime. Once that individual dies, the assets are transferred to their beneficiaries.
Testamentary trusts on the other hand specify how the individual’s assets are designated once that individual dies.
Revocable trusts can change or be altered during a trustor’s lifetime. However, a trustor cannot alter an irrevocable trust once they establish the trust.
Trusts given their nature may also become irrevocable upon the death of the trustor making them the most desirable because they cannot be changed.
Viable examples of trusts in Uganda
In Uganda, the government administers trust by holding property on behalf of its citizens. Article 237(b) of the 1995 Constitution of Uganda has created a public trust over specified important renewable natural resources such as natural lakes, rivers, wetlands, forest reserves, game reserves and National parks, vesting them in the state to hold and protect for the common good of all citizens of Uganda.
The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) is in charge of the collection of workers’ savings, so they are the trustees and workers are the beneficiaries.
It appears that everything is going digital, and taxes are no exception. With this said, if you are in business and deal with the sale of excise goods then you are in this is important for you to note. URA has encouraged every manufacturer, importer, distributor, agent or trader of particular goods to ensure all stock of goods bears a Digital Tax Stamp. These goods include goods such as beer, soda, bottled water, wines, spirits, tobacco products, sugar, cement, cooking oil, juices, and alcoholic, non-alcoholic and fermented beverages. All these products have been gazetted for public knowledge. In case you are wondering what a digital tax stamp is, we are here to help you out. Digital tax stamps are unique labels applied on packages of products which contain security features and codes to prevent counterfeiting of products and also enable track and trace capabilities, the main purpose of this was to allow consumers/customers to consume authentic products and protect them from any subsidised products.
Objectives for the introduction of Digital Tax Stamps.
i) To protect government revenues
ii) To combat trade in counterfeit goods
iii) To enhance fair competition in the market
iv) To provide statistical data for both tax policy and administration.
Overall the main reason why digital tax stamps were introduced is to combat tax fraud within the country, however, this introduction comes with a few implications. The major one would be who would bear the cost implications that come with this new introduction. Digital tax stamps have been shown to have a few negative effects on firm sales revenues and Government excise tax revenues in the first year of post-digital tax stamp introduction. This was due to implementation challenges and delays in embracing the new technology. With these findings, the majority of the burden of implementing these stamps lies on the manufacturer.
How to register for a digital tax stamp.
i) To qualify, a manufacturer and importer should be registered for excise duty
ii) Manufacturer or importer must be registered for URA and goods should be certified by UNBS
iii) All registration will be done on the URA portal, all applicants should have a TIN.
iv) A manufacturer or importer needs to register their product.
v) Once this is done, the manufacturer or importer should order the stamps for each product. An approval notice from URA will be sent.
In case a manufacturer or importer has products that do not possess these stamps, they are advised by URA to dispose of said products or take steps to place stamps on desired products.
One of the major requirements for many businesses lies with advertising because advertising reminds your consumer or customer why they would choose you in the first place. Previously, advertising was limited to avenues such as billboards, television, radio, and newspaper Ads. However, with the expansion and innovation that comes with technology, a business is not limited to the traditional forms of marketing but is and should be open to avenues like digital and social media marketing.
Digital marketing and images are like two peas in a pod. While it was easier to create and use images as one would like, currently the advertising world is met with a requirement to acquire image rights to legally advertise a business. In 2019, Sheila Gashumba was enraged in a bitter fight with La Paronis, a Kampala hangout for uploading her images on their social media without her permission. This will provide us with the background of our discussion today. What does our Ugandan law say about image rights?
Privacy is not an option, and it shouldn’t be the price we accept for just getting on the internet.Gary Kovacs
Image rights are the expression of a personality in the public domain. Under common law, a personality right is the right for an individual to control the commercial use of his or her image, likeness or another unequivocal likeness to their personality. Of course, most businesses use images of famous people to attract customers and the source of these images varies. Today, it is easy for a business to simply download images off the internet and yet one image can cause a lawsuit in an instant. In Uganda, the best case that represents this is the Winnie Asege Case. The plaintiff, in this case, was a successful commercial farmer in Soroti district and operated under Dakabela Rural Women Development Association. Opportunity Bank used her image on a huge billboard showing her heartily laughing and holding a bountiful harvest of oranges. The plaintiff brought a suit against the bank for breach of their constitutional right to privacy, misrepresentation, false endorsement, breach of confidence and unjust enrichment in the unauthorised use of her image. The image was used on flyers and brochures which were distributed nationwide.
The issue at hand was whether the plaintiff’s image rights had been infringed upon by the defendant. The court resolved that for one to succeed in an action for infringement of image rights, such a person has to prove the following;
i) That the plaintiff was identifiable
ii) That the action of the defendant must be intentional and
iii) That the defendant must have acted for commercial gain.
It is important that before a business uses someone’s image or any other image downloaded from the Internet, they must tick a few boxes such as:
Uganda, however, does not possess any outright image rights laws, however, these rights are derived from other laws in order to protect person to person.
As a country, Uganda has various laws which govern employment including The Employment Act 2006, The Employment Regulations 2006, The Labour Dispute Arbitration and Settlement Act, The Labour Unions Act, The Occupational Safety and Health Act 2006, Workers Compensation Act Cap 225, The Employment (Recruitment of Migrant Workers) Regulations, 2005 among others. These laws govern various aspects of labourers and employers including their rights, working conditions, dispute resolutions, dos and do nots among others.
The current law which governs individual employment relations is the Employment Act 2006. This Act was enacted to revise and consolidate the laws governing individual employment relationships, and to provide for other connected matters.
At the end of the day, the true value proposition for education is employment.Sebastian Thrun
The Parliament of Uganda has recently tabled a private member’s Bill the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2022 mainly seeking to address some defects in the current Employment law addressing casual laborers/employees, domestic workers, migrant workers, breastfeeding mothers, sexual harassment in employment and severance allowance among others
Sexual Harassment in Employment
Whereas the current law only defines what constitutes sexual harassment, the procedure for a complaint in case of sexual harassment at work and limits the requirement for sexual harassment procedures to employers with more than twenty-five employees, the Bill further proposes prohibition of mistreatment, harassment and violence at the workplace. In addition, to define what constitutes mistreatment, harassment and violence at the workplace, under the Bill, it is mandatory for all employers to put in place measures to prevent sexual harassment and it is an offense for any person who does not comply with this provision.
Employment of Children
The Employment Act allows the employment of children below the age of fourteen in light work under the supervision of an adult. The Bill increases this age limit for light work to sixteen years to protect children from exploitation and child labor.
Protection of Employees
The Bill further proposes an expansion of the definitions of contract of service and employee to cater for casual and domestic work while prohibiting employers from retaining or withholding original personal or professional documents of an employee.
The Bill protects special categories of employees including persons with disabilities, domestic workers and casual laborers by granting the Minister authority to prescribe a complaint handling mechanism to govern the employment of this category of workers who need special protection.
The Bill proposes that any form of casual employment exceeding four months be converted to a term of employment thus entitling the casual laborer to a written contract and all rights and benefits enjoyed by employees.
In respect to migrant workers, the Bill provides for specific obligations for employers of migrant workers while creating an offense for non-compliance. The Bill further defines what a recruitment agency is, the obligations such as the orientation of workers, keeping records ensuring that the workers’ contracts are in compliance with employment laws among others, the minimum employment standard requirements of the agencies, and clarifies who is eligible to be licensed to engage in recruitment and placement of migrant workers.
The Employment Act currently provides that on termination of an employment contract, repatriation allowance should be given to employees who worked one hundred kilometers away from their homes, and automatic repatriation allowance for employees that have worked with the employer for more than ten years. The Bill reduces the distance to fifty kilometers and five years for automatic repatriation allowance in case of termination of an employee.
Previously, the Employment Act left a gap in the calculation of severance allowance leaving it to be arrived at by negotiations between the employer and employer. The Industrial Court in various complaints established a formula for the calculation of severance allowance which had become the practice. The Bill has addressed this lacuna by explicitly providing for the formula for calculating this allowance.
The Employment Act currently provides for maternity leave in respect of the protection of female employees, the Bill strives to further protect new and breastfeeding mothers by providing for thirty-minute breastfeeding breaks daily in every two hours or a reduction in the contractual hours for an additional sixty days to allow her to breastfeed her child. The employer is also obliged to establish a lactation place at work to allow breastfeeding mothers to breastfeed their children during these breaks.
The Bill introduces a new provision on outsourcing of services requiring contracts with a third party to make sure that the contracts of the employees of the third party are in compliance with the employment law before engaging their services.
The Bill categorizes domestic workers as employees. This means that every single person in Uganda who employs a person including housemaids, nannies, shamba-boys, gardeners, drivers, etc. should have to sign a contract of service with each one of them entailing their scope of work, pay, leave, rights among others in addition to payment of the statutory contributions of their employees.
This implication is that in addition to looking for and saving money to pay basic household bills, necessities, school fees, etc. any person in Uganda employing a domestic worker whether temporarily or not would have to put aside money earned from their business if any, salaries, etc. to pay for their domestic workers’ contributions like NSSF, PAYE and terminal benefits among others. This is quite expensive for an average Ugandan household to do.
Further, the Bill is not mindful of the fact that there are very many people in towns and in villages all over Uganda with persons helping them with different kinds of domestic work at home and not all of these “employers” are salaried workers. Most of these people are earning daily and the relationship with their domestic workers is of payment in kind e.g. food, and rent.
Domestic worker relationships in Uganda is mostly informal, flexible, simple, and reciprocal. In addition, many people doing domestic work do not want to be confined to one employer thereby working for multiple people in a day or week. A question then arises on the practicability in such circumstances, would the domestic worker “employee” be under a contract of service for all their multiple employers, and whether each of them would be paying for that single worker NSSF contribution, payee, terminal benefits, and severance allowance amongst others.
The issue of domestic workers should be left to be handled on a case-by-case basis without this blanket regulation thereby allowing those that wish to be under contracts of service to do while those that desire informal arrangements to opt for them.
In Uganda, most casual workers work temporarily, hourly, or daily to make ends meet and some casual workers work in more than one place of work.
The challenge will then set in for casual workers engaged with more than one employer continuously for the four months. What will happen when both contracts become permanent after continuous engagement? Automatically making these workers whose aim is to work in a temporary setting clearly restricted on their freedom.
Some jobs are seasonal e.g. for harvest or planting times. The idea that an employee is going to cease being a casual worker with employment benefits is impracticable since this kind of arrangement calls for work only during a particular season. During the other periods, the casual worker is most probably working with another employer.
Outsourcing of Services
The proposition by the Bill is broad and difficult to implement. Services is such a wide scope including food services at work, for functions, labor services for work or functions, independent contractors goes against the laws of confidentiality of contract. The requirement of due diligence on every single employee’s contract of a third-party one is outsourcing is impractical since it is the duty of the employer to make sure that their employees have valid contracts of service when recruiting them.
The Bill seeks to prevent the exploitation and abuse of various categories of employees as seen above by addressing lacunas that previously existed thus ensuring that Employment laws are up to date with international labor laws and standards.
The Bill is a welcome move by the Parliament to protect these categories of workers. However, it broadly addresses most of the aspects such as the regulation of domestic and casual workers in a blanket manner that is quite impracticable in the local circumstances. There is a need to make the law more open to allow employers and employees with the option to be regulated by this Act or special arrangements between them.
When Facebook announced that they were rebranding and changing their name to Meta with the strategic plan to create a metaverse- a virtual world in which a consumer spends increasing parts of their lives based on AI and virtual reality, many of us asked why?
This announcement alone expands the digital world that we have become accustomed to in the past two years and yet Facebook has already taken over the digital market with various products including the acquisition of WhatsApp and Instagram.
The reason Mark Zuckerburg gave for this decision is that the company wants to move past the ‘confusion and awkwardness’ of sharing a name with its main app thus calling for a much-needed rebrand that doesn’t limit their scope to social media.
Rebranding is the process of changing the corporate image of an organization. This marketing strategy involves giving a new name, symbol, or change in design for an already-established brand to create a different identity for the brand.
A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.Seth Godin
WHY WOULD A COMPANY REBRAND ITSELF?
Rebranding is not a decision that should be taken lightly, there are so many factors to consider, however it is an option that would change the trajectory of your business as a whole.
The best way to show that your business is evolving would be through rebranding yourself. Businesses grow in various ways and it would be unfair not to consider that a company may grow to include more services, set new goals, and offer new products. A rebrand could be necessary to reflect that.
No business is void of competitors and standing out may be a bit of a challenge. Rebranding can be the most effective way to set what a company offers and its approach apart. Rebranding shows the customer that your services are unique. A company may desire to rebrand to create a personality for itself that appeals to its audience.
Rebranding allows businesses to reach new customers. The key to this lies in a company focusing mainly on promoting different aspects of their business to the crowd for people to take notice. It offers the stimulation a business needs to create new growth in the market.
Sometimes as you embark on a business venture, it is not uncommon for sales to reach a plateau. In such a scenario, rebranding is a great way to boost profits. A new look or new name opens a business up to more possibilities and higher profit margins.
HOW TO REBRAND IN UGANDA
Rebranding a business is quite simple and if you recall the steps we used to register a trademark, then this will be an easy step-by-step guide. Rebranding may require a person to change their mark, logo or name. Before deciding on the mark that a corporation or business decides to adopt, a search must be performed to ascertain whether the trademark exists in the register. An application is then filed upon payment of application fees. The application should contain the mark proposed to be used, the class of goods or services, and the name, address and signature of the applicant.
To get the consumer excited about the new name or mark, it would be important for a company to run a promotion that would enable the customer to engage with the new product, accustom themselves to the new trends and offers and lastly grow the business.
To read more about registering a trademark, click the link here.
The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities tabled the Museum and Monuments Act before parliament which was aimed to repeal and replace the Historical Monuments Act, Cap 26. The bill has recently been passed by parliament, but not without objections from concerned parties.
The law provides for the development, management, and maintenance of museums and monuments and formalize, control, and protect tangible and intangible heritage and works of art collection, however, museum operators have expressed that this appears to be slowing them down.
There have been various developments that have happened over the years, some of which have been detrimental to our heritage as a country. If you have followed the news lately, you might have paid attention to the fact some historical sites have been affected by rapid demolition, fires and war encroachment that has led to the loss of cultural heritage across the country. Other developments, nationally, regionally and internationally have necessitated reviews in the policy, legal and institutional frameworks, conventions and protocol (which to some Uganda is a signatory to) but are no longer supported by the current Act, rendering some of its tenets obsolete.
“Africa’s story has been written by others; we need to own our problems and solutions and write our story”.President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, 2013.
OBJECTIVES OF THE ACT
a) To ensure the protection of cultural and natural heritage resources and the environment.
(b) To give effect to the UNESCO Convention of 1972 on the Protection of Cultural and Natural heritage.
(c) To strengthen the legal and regulatory framework through the conservation, preservation, protection, and management of cultural and natural heritage resources.
(d) To strengthen and provide set up of an institutional structure of effective management of the museums and monuments subsector including through enhancing the capacity of the Department for collective governance of the subsector.
(e) To prohibit illicit trafficking of protected objects, to Local content of cultural and natural heritage.
(f) To provide for progressive rehabilitation of heritage sites; to promote regional and international cooperation.
g) To promote research and development of natural and cultural heritage.
(h) To promote and guide public-private partnerships in the conservation and preservation of cultural and natural heritage.
OBJECTIONS TO THE ACT
Several parties concerned with the enactment of this law have come out with their concerns. To be more specific, the impact the new law has on the private museums which are provided for under section 18 of the Act.
Section 18 of the Act provides that any person wishing to establish a private museum must apply to the Commissioner for a license that allows them to operate a private museum made under the Act. However, Section 98 of the Act states that only those museums with a license issued under the old Act would exist on day one of enacting the bill into law.
Unfortunately, this does not put into account any of the non-state museums as the repealed law did not recognize non-state museums since no one envisaged in 1967 that Uganda would one day have more non-state museums. The repealed law therefore only recognizes the Ugandan Museum as the only museum.
Section 6 of the Act which provides for the management and administration of museums places this responsibility upon the Department of Museums and Monuments. This department is responsible for overseeing, managing, and regulating museums and monuments under the general policy direction of the Minister. This, therefore, places private museums under government administration which would be impossible to maintain.
Section 16 provides that the Minister may, by statutory instrument, declare an area within the jurisdiction of a community museum that serves the interest of the history or culture of the community or an indigenous group. However, it was noted that one area may have many museums that may specialize in different aspects of heritage which makes this particular section difficult to enforce.
Section 34 which provides for the protection of burial grounds and sites was found to be exclusive of some areas. The Uganda Law Society suggested that clause 8 should extend its protection to burial grounds and graves of victims citing the Lukodi graveyard in Gulu District where at least 60 civilians were massacred by the Lord’s Resistance Army in 2004 as the owner of the land wanted his property back yet it would count as a significant memorial sits on it.
We agree that it is important for us to preserve our historical heritage. These amendments, even with the current objections do not take away from this necessity.
Parenting is one of the most critical assignments we could ever have as humans. It is probably not the first time you have heard that a child has been mistreated by a parent or a guardian within Uganda. These abuses include physical violence, gender-based violence and sexual violence all a serious detriment to a child. At times, this abuse has extended to children being forced into child labour.
Parenting is nurturing, socialising and providing for a child’s holistic growth and development. The Children’s Act stipulates under the second schedule that it is the parent, and guardian’s duty to provide education and guidance, immunization, adequate diet, clothing, shelter, and medical to a child and also gives any person who has custody of a child shall protect a child from discrimination, violence, abuse and neglect.
There is no limitation to parenthood within Uganda, this responsibility is extended to grandparents, stepparents, foster parents, adoptive parents and even communities and each of these people plays an essential role to play in the upbringing of a child.
“Parental love is the only love that is truly selfless, unconditional and forgiving.”– Dr. TP Chia
In an ideal world, custody of a child goes to both parents, however, in the legal world, there are moments when the custody of a child may be in question and the court would have to decide who would cater for the responsibilities we have mentioned earlier. Custody is usually in question in instances of divorce and separation. In the case of Rwabuhemba Tim Musinguzi v. Harriet Kamakume Supreme Court, Civil Application No. 142 of 2009, it was stated that parents have a fundamental constitutional right to care for and bring up their children.
The welfare of the child is a consideration to be taken into account, and at times may be the paramount consideration in determining the custody of a child. A parent can only be denied the right to care for and raise her children when it is clear and has been determined by a competent authority, in accordance with the law, that it is in the best interest of the child that the child be separated from the parent. Both parents have similar and equal rights with regard to their children.
WHAT DOES THE COURT CONSIDER WHEN GRANTING CUSTODY?
In the case of Re M (an infant), Adoption cause No. 9 of 1995, the court stated that in all matters relating to children, the welfare and best interests of a child shall be paramount. This is further stipulated in Section 3 of the Children Act. Welfare in this case means all circumstances that would affect the well-being and upbringing of the child.
In instances where the custody of a child is in question before a court or local council within Uganda and said child is of tender years, custody must and will be granted to the mother.
While determining the question relating to the upbringing of a child within custody, the court will take into consideration the wishes of said child. Of course, this may be done with wisdom because the court may need to consider the age of the child before basing their decision on their wishes. Even still, the court will respect the wishes of the older children who are of age and are able to make up their minds as to what they think is best.
HOW TO APPLY FOR CUSTODY IN UGANDA
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