• Francis Obonyo
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What You need to Know About the Law Revision Act 2020

Introduction

The purpose of the law revision act is to prepare and provide for public use an up to date set of the statutes in force, incorporating all amendments and adaptations made thereto and eliminating them from all repealed laws.  The purpose of the Law Revision Act 2020 is to provide for the revision of laws and for related matters. The Act was assented to on the 4th of April 2019 and commenced on 28th February 2020.

Highlights of the Act

  • The Attorney General is mandated to order a revised edition of the laws from the Uganda Law Reform Commission.
  • The revised edition must be prepared after 10 years from the last revised edition.
  • The Attorney General is mandated to approve the revised edition which if approved shall be laid before the Parliament for information.
  • Civil or criminal proceedings that had commenced in the courts of Law will not be affected by the revised edition irrespective of whether a particular law affecting that proceeding has been excluded from the revised edition or included in the revised edition. The proceedings are supposed to continue as if the law has not been either excluded or included.
  • The commission is prohibited to alter the substance of any law.
  • Permanent secretaries are required to furnish proposals about any Act, Statutory Instrument or legal notice that are under the supervision of the respective Permanent Secretaries to the commission.

Key Issues and Analysis

The key issue is to religiously follow the requirement of having a revised edition every after the stipulated 10 years. This was one of the objectives the Act sought to achieve by giving the Attorney General the power to appoint dates for coming into force of revised editions, unlike the old legislation, the Law (Revised edition) Act, which had one specific objective which was to have a revision of laws that were inexistent as of 31st December 1995. Thus, this new Act will be of great help if acted upon by the Commission to legal scholars, judicial officers and academia in their pursuit of legal knowledge.

Conclusion

It has been long since the last revision was made by the Law Reform Commission. The last edition is the 7th edition with supplementary laws made in the period between 2004 to 2007. Therefore, the Law Reform Commission should through their mandate under Article 248(1) of the 1995 Constitution of Uganda, plus the powers given to the Attorney General, use this Law Revision Act 2020 to expeditiously prepare a latest edition of the laws of Uganda.