Constitutional Court Quashes Anti-Pornography law

Skimpily dressed ladies at a musical concert in Kampala. Photo | File

COURT, KAMPALA: The Constitutional Court in Uganda has nullified the controversial Anti-Pornography law of 2014, citing four of its sections which it says are unconstitutional. This means that no person can be indicted for the offence of pornography in Uganda under the Anti-Pornography Act.

In a ruling overseen by a panel of five Judges; Frederick Egonda- Ntende, Elizabeth Musoke, Cheborion Barishaki, Muzamiru Kibeedi, and Irene Mulyagonja, they unanimously declared unconstitutional Sections 2 which defines and creates the offence of pornography, 11, 13, and 15 Anti-Pornography Act.

Other Sections declared unconstitutional; 11 which confers wide discretionary powers upon the Anti-Pornography Committee in the enforcement and monitoring of the compliance of the Act, 13 which criminalizes the production, publication, broadcasting, procurement, importation and exportation, sale or abetment, sets out prohibited acts of pornography.

As well as 15 which confers wide enforcement and policing powers in authorising entry upon premises and is likely to interfere in activities pursued in private; occasion the seizure of personal property and arrest of persons engaged in personal pursuits and is inconsistent and in contravention of the right to privacy among others.

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The judges ruled that “no harm would occur to society if certain bans on acts or material that elicit sexual excitement were lifted.”

The introduction of the legislation in 2014 – initially branded the “anti-miniskirt” law – led to street protests in Kampala, after women dressed in short skirts were publicly harassed and assaulted.

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