HRAPF REPORTS AS FOLLOWS with regard to the lawsuits in Uganda challenging the new Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023, known as The Kill the Gays Bill: "We appeared before a single Justice of the Court of Appeal/ Constitutional Court (Justice Geoffrey Kiryabwire) for the scheduled final conferencing of all petitions and applications arising therefrom. Below is an update of what transpired; 1. All four petitions including the latest one (Bishop James Lubega Banda v Attorney General, Constitutional Petition No. 85 of 2023) have been consolidated by consent. This means they all be heard and disposed of at the same time. All four Petitions had complied with the filing as required and the consolidated petitions shall be forwarded to a panel of five Justices for hearing. 2. The two applications to be joined as Respondents/ Necessary parties by Pastor Martin Ssempa and Eng. Stephen Langa respectively have been forwarded to a panel of 5 Justices for determination. This is because, some of the petitioners and the Attorney General objected to their addition and the issue can only therefore be determined by the panel of five justices. 3. For the eleven amicus applications - which the Justice recognised as the highest number that he has seen in any case in his career - these were by consent reduced to five. This is because of the consolidation of the cases as the amicus applicants had applied to join each of the petitions. The five Amici Applications are from;
(i) The South African Litigation Centre (SALC) (ii) The Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) (iii) The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) (iv) VIIV Healthcare (UK), Glaxosmithkline Services, Gilead Sciences and Merck (MSD) (v) Prof. Tendayi Achiume, Prof. Frans Viljoen, Munab Ndulo, Giramachechew Alemu, James Thuo Gathi and Abadir Ibrahim 4. All Amici Applications were objected to by the Attorney General and as such they were all forwarded to a panel of 5 Justices for determination. 5. The five applications for injunctions and interim orders which had been filed for Petition 14 and 15 were by consent withdrawn by the different Applicants and the consent will be filed in court. This is intended to pave the way for the hearing of the consolidated petition which the Justice suggested will be soon and as such, the applications would not be necessary. 5. Court gave leave to all petitioners and applicants to rectify whatever may be missing from the files by 1st December, 2023 in preparation for the hearing. 6. All matters were adjourned to the 11th December, 2023 for final conferencing before the same Justice, after which the files shall be forwarded to the full bench of five justices for trial. The Justice intimated that the petitions shall be fixed for hearing as soon as the pending issues are sorted. There seems to be prioritization of the hearing and we think that the case may be heard before the year ends."