Uganda

- Warrant of arrest

What is a warrant of arrest?

A warrant of arrest is an order issued by a magistrate and bearing the seal of the court; directed to police officers or any other person; and commanding to arrest the person named in it who is accused of having committed an offense named in it.

Legislation:

  • Section 42 of the Magistrates court act
  • Section 58 of the Magistrates court act
  • Section 56 of the Magistrates court act
  • Section 2 of the Criminal procedure code act

On what grounds and when can someone be subject to a warrant of arrest?

The court may issue a warrant for the apprehension of a person against whom a charge has been preferred. The warrant may be issued at any time and remain legal until it is executed or canceled by the court which has issued it.

A warrant of arrest may be issued against a person when:

  • that person is suspect to have committed an offence;
  • that person does not appear at the time and place appointed in a summons;
  • that person does not appear at the time and place appointed in a bond.

Legislation:

  • Section 54 of the Magistrates court act
  • Section 55 subsection 1 of the Magistrates court act
  • Section 56 of the Magistrates court act
  • Section 57 of the Magistrates court act
  • Section 66 of the Magistrates court act

For more informations:

  • Ayume (F.-J.), Criminal Procedure and Law in Uganda, Longman Kenya Limited, 1986, p.42

Which authority is competent to issue a warrant of arrest against someone?

A warrant of arrest may be issued by a magistrate’s court and directed to police officers or any other person depending on the situation.

Legislation:

  • Section 56 of the Magistrates court act

What are the procedural safeguards for a warrant of arrest?

A warrant of arrest shall:

  • be issued by a magistrate’s court;
  • bear the seal of the court issuing it;
  • name or otherwise describe the person against whom it is issued;
  • order that person to be presented before the court named in it;
  • state a description of the offence(s) with which the person is charged.

Any irregularity in the substance or form of a warrant shall not affect the validity of any proceedings of the case; unless the irregularity appears to deceive or misled the accused the court may – at the request of the accused – adjourn the hearing of the case and remand or admit the accused to bail.

The statement of the offence shall respect the rules for framing of charges. A charge may be open – to objection in respect of its form or content – if it is not framed in accordance with the specific provisions stated by law.

The person executing a warrant of arrest shall notify the substance of the warrant to the person suspected (and show the warrant if requested); and then shall bring that person before the court required without unnecessary delay.

Legislation:

  • Section 56 of the Magistrates court act
  • Section 61 of the Magistrates court act
  • Section 64 of the Magistrates court act
  • Section 85 of the Magistrates court act
  • Section 88 of the Magistrates court act

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