The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda prohibits Parliament from passing any law to alter the decision or judgement of any courts as between the parties to the decision or judgement. A retrospective law is one that is to take effect, in point of time, before it was passed. Legislation with retrospective operation may be enacted to validate decisions that have been made, or powers exercised, by government agencies, the validity of which is in doubt for ‘technical’ reasons. Such legislation may be retrospectively changing legal rights and obligations. In Uganda, several laws over the years are retrospective.
A recent example is the Public Order Management Act (POMA) which was passed following the Court’s decision which nullified section 32 of the Police Act. Section 32 of the Police Act restricted gatherings and the Court found this to be in contravention of freedom of association and assembly provided for under the constitution. Following this decision, Parliament went ahead and enacted the POMA which law in its very essence is a regurgitation of S.32 of the Police Act which was nullified by the courts.
This restriction means that Parliament cannot pass a law that is against a decision that has been made by the Court. All laws must correspond to the current position of court decisions.