Case Number APPEAL NO. 2 OF 2011
Summary

The present case is an appeal by Alcon International Limited, a limited liability company incorporated in the Republic of Kenya, against the decision of the First Instance Division of the Court in Reference No. 6 of 2010. The Standard Chartered Bank of Uganda; the Attorney-General of the Republic of Uganda; and the Registrar of the High Court of Uganda are the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Respondents, respectively.
The substance of the dispute between the Parties as placed before the court below is as follows: The Appellant company was contracted by the National Social Security Fund, Uganda (NSSF) to construct ‘Workers House’, in Kampala. NSSF terminated the agreement and this set in motion arbitration proceedings under the contract. The Appellant was the successful party in the arbitration proceedings and was awarded US $8,858,469.97. This arbitral award is being contested in the courts in Uganda and the matter is now before the Supreme Court as Civil Appeal No. 15 of 2009, in which NSSF wants to set aside the arbitral award.

RespondentTHE STANDARD CHARTERED BANK OF UGANDA, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF UGANDA ON BEHALF OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA and REGISTRAR OF THE HIGH COURT OF UGANDA
ComplainantAPPEAL NO. 2 OF 2011 ALCON INTERNATIONAL LIMITED
Date filed
CountriesUganda
Keyword
Treaty Article

First Instance Judgment

Verdict
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Date delivered
Quorum

Appeal Judgment

VerdictWith respect, our answer to the first prayer is, yes. For the reasons explained in this judgment, the Ruling of the First Instance Division dated the 24.9.2011 cannot be allowed to stand. However, we decline the invitation to assume original jurisdiction and thereby to dispose of the preliminary objections raised by the Respondents. This is an Appellate Division of the Court operating under the mandate of Article 23 (2) and (3) and Article 35A of the Treaty. That mandate of the Appellate Division is to hear and determine appeals from judgments and any Orders from the First Instance Division of the Court. We are not aware of any provision in the Treaty that confers concurrent jurisdiction with the First Instance Division. The First Instance Division did not discuss nor did it make a finding of whether it had jurisdiction to entertain the Reference. This was a fundamental issue on which the court below had to decide as a threshold issue. In the result, we allow the appeal with costs. The Ruling and Order of the First Instance Division dated 24.9.2011 is accordingly set aside, and we do hereby re-instate Reference No. 6 of 2010. Furthermore we direct the First Instance Division to specifically determine the merits of the Reference before the Court.
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Date deliveredMarch 16, 2012
Quorum