The Implications of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 on Uganda's Legal System
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Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 (AHB or the bill) was controversial right from the time of its inception. Its tabling in Uganda’s parliament in October 2009 was greatly welcomed by some religious leaders and sections of the population, while at the same time, it was vehemently opposed by some human rights organisations in Uganda and abroad. The provisions of the bill pose a threat to the fundamental rights and freedoms of all persons in Uganda regardless of their sexual orientation, but far more so for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) persons. Beyond the violations of human rights that are envisaged if the bill becomes law, the bill also poses unique questions for lawyers and the legal system as regards its implementation and how it impacts on established principles of law and criminal justice. This paper analyses the implications of the bill on Uganda’s legal system. It discusses the contents of the AHB, traces its background as well as its current status, analyses the legal issues that are likely to arise if it becomes law, discusses the legal issues that are already arising with the bill still a bill, and finally discusses some of the positive aspects of the bill.