The Constitutional Court in Kampala has today nullified the whole of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 2015.
The act, banned the sale and use of several narcotic drugs in Uganda
However, in 2017, farmers of Miira under their umbrella body, Wakiso Miraa Growers and Dealers Association Ltd, petitioned the Constitutional Court seeking to overturn a decision by parliament which they said was inconsistent with principles of legality, equality, rationality and proportionality guaranteed under the constitution since they were never consulted, among others.
In a lead ruling, Justice Muzamiru Mutangula Kibeedi noted, “in the premises, I would declare the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Act, 2015 null and void for lack of quorum on the part of parliament contrary to articles 88 and 89 of the Constitution and rule 23 of the Rules of Procedure of the 9th parliament ,2012 made, pursuant to articles 88 and 94 of the Constitution.”
The Constitutional Court further ruled that the manner in which the entire law was enacted was illegal and the only remedy was repealing it.
The panel of five justices; the Deputy Chief Justice, Richard Buteera, Justice Stephen Musota, Justice Muzamiru Mutangula Kibeedi, Justice Irene Mulyagonja and Justice Monica K . Mugyenyi, said the rules of procedure in parliament require for a quorum before any bill is passed, adding that the rules also provide for what constitutes the quorum and the obligation of the speaker in confirming its existence.
“At the stage of voting, the bill must receive the sufficient number of votes in order for it to be lawfully passed. The sufficient number of votes is prescribed by Article 89(1) of the Constitution. They consist majority of the quorum.”
The justices of the Constitutional Court therefore rules that any bill passed without the above procedure being followed is null and void, the ruling read.
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