Principal Legislation
Log in

Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me





   1.   Application.

   2.   Interpretation.

   3.   Savings.

   4.   Pecuniary jurisdiction.


Jurisdiction of the courts and res judicata.

   5.   Courts to try all civil suits unless barred.

   6.   Stay of suit.

   7.   Res judicata.

   8.   Bar to further suit.

   9.   When foreign judgment not conclusive.

   10.   Presumption as to foreign judgments.

Place of suing.

   11.   Jurisdiction of civil courts.

   12.   Suits to be instituted where subject matter situate.

   13.   Suits for immovable property situate within jurisdiction of different courts.

   14.   Suits for compensation for wrongs to person or movables.

   15.   Other suits to be instituted where defendants reside or cause of action arises.

   16.   Objections to jurisdiction.

   17.   Power to transfer suits which may be instituted in more than one court.

   18.   Power of High Court to withdraw and transfer cases.

Institution of suits.

   19.   Institution of suits.

Procedure in suits and discovery.

   20.   Service on defendant.

   21.   Service where defendant resides in another district.

   22.   Power to order discovery and the like.

   23.   Summons to witness.

   24.   Penalty for default.

Judgment and decree.

   25.   Judgment and decree.


   26.   Interest.


   27.   Costs.



   28.   Application to orders.

   29.   Definition of "court which passed a decree".

Courts by which decrees may be executed.

   30.   Court by which decree may be executed.

   31.   Transfer of decree.

   32.   Result of execution proceedings to be certified.

   33.   Powers of courts in executing transferred decree.

Questions to be determined by court executing decree.

   34.   Questions to be determined by the court executing the decree.

Limit of time for execution.

   35.   Execution barred in certain cases.

Transferees and legal representatives.

   36.   Transferee.

   37.   Legal representative.

Procedure in execution.

   38.   Powers of court to enforce execution.

   39.   Enforcement of decree against legal representative.

Arrest and detention.

   40.   Arrest and detention.

   41.   Subsistence allowances.

   42.   Detention and release.

   43.   Release on ground of illness.


   44.   Property liable to attachment and sale in execution of decree.

   45.   Seizure of property in dwelling house.

   46.   Property attached in execution of decrees of several courts.

   47.   Private alienation of property after attachment to be void.


   48.   Duplicate certificate of title to immovable property to be lodged with court before sale.

   49.   Purchaser's title.

   50.   Suit against purchaser not maintainable on ground of purchase being on behalf of plaintiff.

Distribution of assets.

   51.   Distribution of assets.

Resistance to execution.

   52.   Resistance to execution.



   53.   Power of court to issue commissions.

   54.   Commission to another court.

   55.   Letter of request.

   56.   Commissions issued by foreign courts.


Suits by aliens and by or against foreign rulers.

   57.   When aliens may sue.

   58.   When foreign State may sue.


   59.   Where interpleader suit may be instituted.



   60.   Arbitration.

Special case.

   61.   Power to state case for opinion of court. Suits relating to public matters.

   62.   Public nuisances.

   63.   Public charities.


   64.   Supplemental proceedings.

   65.   Compensation for arrest, attachment or injunction on insufficient grounds.


Appeals from original decrees.

   66.   Appeals from decrees of High Court.

   67.   Appeal from ex parte decree, etc.

   68.   Appeal from final decree where no appeal from preliminary decree.

   69.   Decision where appeal heard by two or more judges.

   70.   No decree to be reversed or modified for error or irregularity not affecting merits or jurisdiction.

   71.   Appeals shall be heard by one judge except when the Chief Justice shall otherwise order.

Appeals from appellate decrees.

   72.   Second appeal.

   73.   Third appeal.

   74.   Second appeal on no other grounds

   75.   No second appeal in certain suits.

Appeals from orders.

   76.   Orders from which appeal lies.

   77.   Other orders.

   78.   What courts to hear appeal.

   79.   Limitation for appeals.

General provisions relating to appeals.

   80.   Power of appellate court.

   81.   Procedure in appeals from appellate decrees and orders.


   82.   Review.

   83.   Revision.


   84.   Exemption of certain women.

   85.   Arrest other than in execution of decree.

   86.   Exemption from arrest under civil process.

   87.   Procedure where person to be arrested or property to be attached is outside district.

   88.   Language of courts.

   89.   Power to call in assessors.

   90.   Miscellaneous proceedings.

   91.   Orders and notices to be in writing.

   92.   Application for restitution.

   93.   Enforcement of liability of surety.

   94.   Consent or agreement by persons under disability.

   95.   Execution of decree of High Court before costs are ascertained.

   96.   Enlargement of time.

   97.   Power to make up deficiency of court fees.

   98.   Saving of inherent powers of court.

   99.   Amendment of judgments, decrees or orders.

   100.   General power to amend.


Commencement: 1 January, 1929.

   An Act to make provision for procedure in civil courts.


1.   Application.

   This Act shall extend to proceedings in the High Court and magistrates courts.

2.   Interpretation.

   In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context—

   (a)   "advocate" means any person entitled to appear and plead for another in court;

   (b)   "court" means any court exercising civil jurisdiction;

   (c)   "decree" means the formal expression of an adjudication which, so far as regards the court expressing it, conclusively determines the rights of the parties with regard to any of the matters in controversy in the suit and may be either preliminary or final. It shall be deemed to include the rejection of a plaint or writ and the determination of any question within section 34 or 92, but shall not include—

      (i)   any adjudication from which an appeal lies as an appeal from an order; or

      (ii)   any order of dismissal for default;

Explanation—A decree is preliminary when further proceedings have to be taken before the suit can be completely disposed of. It is final when the adjudication completely disposes of the suit. It may be partly preliminary and partly final.

   (d)   "decree holder" means any person in whose favour a decree has been passed or an order capable of execution has been made, and includes the assignee of such decree or order;

   (e)   "district" means any one magisterial area as defined in the Magistrates Courts Act;

   (f)   "foreign court" means a court situate beyond the limits of Uganda which has no authority in Uganda;

   (g)   "foreign judgment" means the judgment of a foreign court;

   (h)   "judge" includes a magistrate exercising civil jurisdiction in a magistrate's court;

   (i)   "judgment" means the statement given by the judge of the grounds of a decree or order;

   (j)   "judgment debtor" means any person against whom a decree has been passed or an order capable of execution has been made;

   (k)   "legal representative" means a person who in law represents the estate of a deceased person, and where a party sues or is sued in a representative character, the person on whom the estate devolves on the death of the party so suing or sued;

   (l)   "magistrate's court" means a court established under the Magistrates Courts Act;

   (m)   "mesne profits" of property means those profits which the person in wrongful possession of the property actually received or might with ordinary diligence have received from it, together with interest on those profits, but shall not include profits due to improvements made by the person in wrongful possession;

   (n)   "movable property" includes growing crops;

   (o)   "order" means the formal expression of any decision of a civil court which is not a decree, and shall include a rule nisi;

   (p)   "pleading" includes any petition or summons, and also includes the statements in writing of the claim or demand of any plaintiff, and of the defence of any defendant to them, and the reply of the plaintiff to any defence or counterclaim of a defendant;

   (q)   "prescribed" means prescribed by rules;

   (r)   "public officer" means a person falling under any of the following descriptions—

      (i)   every member of the civil service of Uganda;

      (ii)   every commissioned or gazetted officer in the Uganda Peoples' Defence Forces;

      (iii)   every officer of a court of justice whose duty it is, as such officer, to investigate or report on any matter of law or fact or to make or authenticate or keep any document, or to take charge or dispose of any property, or to execute any judicial process, or to administer any oath, or to interpret, or to preserve order in the court and every person especially authorised by a court of justice to perform any of those duties;

      iv)   every person who holds any office by virtue of which he or she is empowered to place or keep any person in confinement;

      (v)   every person whose duty it is, in an official capacity, to prevent offences, to give information of offences, to bring offenders to justice or to protect the public health, safety or convenience;

      (vi)   every officer whose duty it is, as such officer, to take, receive, keep or expend any property on behalf of the Government, or to make any survey, assessment or contract on behalf of the Government, or to execute any revenue process, or to investigate, or to report on any matter affecting the pecuniary interests of the Government, or to make, authenticate or keep any document relating to the pecuniary interests of the Government, or to prevent the infraction of any law for the protection of the pecuniary interests of the Government; and

      (vii)   every officer in the service or pay of the Government or remunerated by fees or commission for the performance of any public duty;

   (s)   "registrar" includes a district and deputy registrar;

   (t)   "rules" means rules and forms made by the rules committee to regulate the procedure of courts;

   (u)   "share in a corporation" shall be deemed to include stock, debenture stock, debentures or bonds;

   (v)   "signed" includes the affixing of a mark by a person unable to write;

   (w)   "subordinate court" means any magistrate's court, and no other court shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to be subordinate to the High Court;

   (x)   "suit" means all civil proceedings commenced in any manner prescribed.

3.   Savings.

   In the absence of any specific provision to the contrary, nothing in this Act shall be deemed to limit or otherwise affect any special jurisdiction or power conferred, or any special form of procedure prescribed by or under any other law for the time being in force.

4.   Pecuniary jurisdiction.

   Except insofar as is otherwise expressly provided, nothing in this Act shall operate to give any court jurisdiction over suits the amount or value of the subject matter of which exceeds the pecuniary limits, if any, of its ordinary jurisdiction.



5.   Courts to try all civil suits unless barred.

   Any court shall, subject to the provisions herein contained, have jurisdiction to try all suits of a civil nature excepting suits of which its cognisance is either expressly or impliedly barred.

6.   Stay of suit.

   No court shall proceed with the trial of any suit or proceeding in which the matter in issue is also directly and substantially in issue in a previously instituted suit or proceeding between the same parties, or between parties under whom they or any of them claim, litigating under the same title, where that suit or proceeding is pending in the same or any other court having jurisdiction in Uganda to grant the relief claimed.

Explanation.—The pendency of a suit in a foreign court shall not preclude a court from trying a suit in which the same matters or any of them are in issue in that suit in the foreign court.

7.   Res judicata.

   No court shall try any suit or issue in which the matter directly and substantially in issue has been directly and substantially in issue in a former suit between the same parties, or between parties under whom they or any of them claim, litigating under the same title, in a court competent to try the subsequent suit or the suit in which the issue has been subsequently raised, and has been heard and finally decided by that court.


1.   The expression "former suit" shall denote a suit which has been decided prior to the suit in question whether or not it was instituted prior to it.

2.   For the purposes of this section, the competence of a court shall be determined irrespective of any provision as to right of appeal from the decision of that court.

3.   The matter above referred to must in the former suit have been alleged by one party and either denied or admitted, expressly or impliedly, by the other.

4.   Any matter which might and ought to have been made a ground of defence or attack in the former suit shall be deemed to have been a matter directly and substantially in issue in that suit.

5.   Any relief claimed in a suit, which is not expressly granted by the decree, shall, for the purposes of this section, be deemed to have been refused.

6.   Where persons litigate bona fide in respect of a public right or of a private right claimed in common for themselves and others, all persons interested in that right shall, for the purposes of this section, be deemed to claim under the persons so litigating.

8.   Bar to further suit.

   Where a plaintiff is precluded by rules from instituting a further suit in respect of any particular cause of action, he or she shall not be entitled to institute a suit in respect of that cause of action.

9.   When foreign judgment not conclusive.

   A foreign judgment shall be conclusive as to any matter directly adjudicated, upon by it between the same parties or between parties under whom they or any of them claim, litigating under the same title, except—

   (a)   where it has not been pronounced by a court of competent jurisdiction;

   (b)   where it has not been given on the merits of the case;

   (c)   where it appears on the face of the proceedings to be founded on an incorrect view of international law or a refusal to recognise the law of Uganda in cases in which that law is applicable;

   (d)   where the proceedings in which the judgment was obtained are opposed to natural justice;

   (e)   where it has been obtained by fraud;

   (f)   where it sustains a claim founded on a breach of any law in force in Uganda.

10.   Presumption as to foreign judgments.

   The court shall presume, upon the production of any document purporting to be a certified copy of a foreign judgment, that that judgment was pronounced by a court of competent jurisdiction, unless the contrary appears on the record; but that presumption may be displaced by proving want of jurisdiction.


11.   Jurisdiction of civil courts.

   (1) Except as is provided in this Act or the Magistrates Courts Act, suits and proceedings of a civil nature shall be instituted in the High Court.

   (2) Whenever for the purposes of jurisdiction or court fees it is necessary to estimate the value of the subject matter of a suit capable of a mo

This section of the article is only available for our subscribers. Please click here to subscribe to a subscription plan to view this part of the article.