Submission to UN Human Rights Committee - Uganda
3 mei 2022

Submission to UN Human Rights Committee – Uganda


In November 2020, Uganda submitted its second report on its implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). At its upcoming 135th session, the United Nations Human Rights Committee will adopt a list of issues on Uganda. Lawyers for Lawyers welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the list of issues on Uganda in preparation for its review by the Committee.

The submission identifies five main issues. These include the harassment of lawyers, the lack of access to clients, the lack of lawyer-client confidentiality, the identification of lawyers with their clients, and the situation of lawyers working for NGOs. The report provides examples of lawyers who have faced harassment or persecution due to their involvement in human rights, LGBTQ+, environmental and politically sensitive cases.

For years, lawyers in Uganda have been hindered in carrying out their professional functions, by both private and state actors. This interference comes in the form of intimidation, threats, recurring office break-ins, physical assault, and arbitrary detention.Lawyers are also increasingly discouraged from visiting their clients. This impairs their ability to provide effective legal representation and consequently severely undermines the proper functioning of the rule of law.

Lawyers for Lawyers is recommending the Human Rights Committee to pose the following questions to Uganda concerning the position of lawyers during the review:

  • Please respond to reports of difficulties of lawyers with accessing their clients
  • Please respond to reports of office break-ins and related concerns with respect to the guarantee to lawyer-client confidentiality
  • Please respond to the reports of the lack of effective police investigations into the reported office break-ins in NGOs.
  • Please provide information on what measures the State party has taken to ensure that lawyers are able to carry out their professional functions safely and independently without fear of threat, intimidation, hindrance, harassment, improper interference, reprisals, or criminal prosecution.
  • Please report on the manner in which lawyers working for NGOs and subject to the NGO Act are protected from undue government interference.

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