National Implementation of IHL
Thomas Kwoyelo alias Latoni v. Uganda, Supreme Court, 8 April 2015
Consitutional Appeal No. 01 of 2012 - Thomas Kwoyelo alias Latoni v. Uganda, Supreme Court

Supreme Court of Uganda (last accessed on 12.08.2015)

On 8 April 2015, the Supreme Court of Uganda ordered the retrial of Thomas Kwoyelo (a former Lord’s Resistance Army commander) by the International Crime Division of the High Court of Uganda. In doing so, the Supreme Court reverses the 2011 Constitutional Court judgement granting him full amnesty.

On 6 September 2010, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) indicted Thomas Kwoyelo for grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions committed during the Ugandan civil war from 1992 to 2005. Kwoyelo requested for reference the Constitutional Court of Uganda in 2011, stating that the refusal of the DPP and the Amnesty Commission to grant him a certificate of amnesty while the same had been granted to other applicants in circumstances similar to his, was discriminatory and unconstitutional under the 1995 Constitution of Uganda. The Constitutional Court, in its ruling No. 36 of 2011, concluded that the respondent was entitled to amnesty as he had renounced his rebel activities.

On 11 April 2015, the DPP represented by the Attorney General brought the present appeal. In responding to this appeal, the Supreme Court considered that the Amnesty Act does not provide for blanket amnesties, but is limited to the participation in the rebellion and does not extend to war crimes. In the opinion of the Court, the Geneva Conventions Act still applies and the indictment of the Thomas Kwoyelo under Article 147 (i.e. Grave breaches) thereof does not violate the Constitution of Uganda. It further specifies that the respondent has not suffered discrimination or unequal treatment under the law as certain individuals remains ineligible for the amnesty, and that the DPP is acting within his powers not to certify the respondent for granting the amnesty.

Related case law : Thomas Kwoyelo alias Latoni v. Uganda, Constitutional Court, 22 September 2011

File TypeSizeFile Name
application/pdf 4,482 KB Uganda, Uganda v. Thomas Kwoyelo judgments of 8 April 2015 [Eng].pdf