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The Interface Between The Traditional And Criminal Justice Systems: A Review of The High Court's Decision in Kanyamunyu Mathew Muyogoma v Uganda

Case Review by Courage Ssewanyana*


Traditional justice mechanisms (TJMs) were the hall mark of dispute resolution and justice in the different African societies before the colonial era started in the 1880s. With the import of the Victorian justice system in Uganda, the customary laws that governed traditional justice mechanisms were relegated to a test of repugnancy. The recently decided case of Kanyamunyu Mathew v. Uganda brought into light the position of traditional justice systems in the legal arena. The Judge noted that the traditional justice system (Mato-Oput) is shrouded in legal ambiguity and its interface with the criminal justice system is opaque. The author takes the stand that this decision was a missed opportunity for courts to recognize the applicability of traditional justice mechanisms in Uganda’s jurisprudence. The paper takes cognizance of the arguments against traditional justice systems. This paper seeks to deconstruct these arguments and advocate for the acceptance of this module of justice.

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