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Refereed articles

Constructing the Amicus Curiae Procedure in Human Rights Litigation: What can Uganda Learn from South Africa? - p 199

The amicus curiae procedure is gradually entrenching itself as part of judicial and legal practice. Human rights activists and advocates the world over are increasingly using this procedure in both domestic and international courts as a tool for influencing the outcomes of judicial proceedings.

The amicus curiae procedure is gradually entrenching itself as part of judicial and legal practice. Human rights activists and advocates the world over are increasingly using this procedure in both domestic and international courts as a tool for influencing the outcomes of judicial proceedings. The procedure is used to ensure that courts are responsive to the human rights needs of vulnerable and marginalised groups and individuals. Some jurisdictions however, are yet to take full advantage of the procedure. Such jurisdictions can learn from countries like South Africa which has adopted the procedure by entrenching it in its procedural laws and embracing it as part of judicial practice. Many organisations in South Africa have taken advantage of this by making timely, well researched and invaluable interventions. This has contributed a lot to the development of the now envied South African human rights judicial jurisprudence. The Ugandan judiciary, legal practitioners and human rights activists can draw lessons from South Africa. The first step is to entrench the amicus procedure as part of Uganda’s procedural law. This should be followed by encouraging advocates to use the procedure and urging the judiciary to accept and define liberal and well developed principles for its application.

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