Justice Dollo launches books on divorce

Friday, 17 November 2017 - 2:00pm

Deputy Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny-Dollo. FILE PHOTO

Kampala. The Deputy Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny-Dollo has launched books on marriage and divorce, that explain the intricacies in family breakups.
The books: Politics of Putting Asunder; The Family, Law and Divorce and The Case Book on Divorce Law; Actualising the 1995 Constitution, contain comprehensive, incisive and a homegrown analysis of the current state of divorce law in Uganda.
They are designed as a reference source of literature for law schools, judiciary, researchers at all levels in East Africa.
Speaking at the launch in Kampala last Friday, Justice Owiny-Dollo described the books as a provision of the “practical overview of issues and problems inherent in the practice of family law and areas of law that impact family law.”

He appraised the books for advocating legislation on marriage that protects women’s rights and guarantee equality between spouses.
“And at a minimum, family and marriage laws should guarantee equal rights and responsibilities between women and men in marriage, divorce and dissolution; ensure that all marriages involve the free and full consent of both parties like it was in traditional societies before colonialism,” he said.

He explained that although the Constitution and various laws on domestic relations talk about marriage law, they do not tackle the core substance of customary marriages.
He asked the judiciary to consider reviewing the Ten Commandments given to man as the first laws and Constitution to have families stay in peace forever. “For example the law on adultery says do not let yourself lust your neighbour’s wife; it does not mention lusting for your neighbour’s husband,” he mused.

“For me these books, first of their kind in Uganda, provide us with understanding of the customary law as far as divorce is concerned.”
Prof Christopher Mbazira, the principal of Makerere School of Law, who critiqued the books, said the two literary pieces analyse the evolution of divorce laws in Uganda compared to the Biblical law that requires spouses to live together “till death do us part” at a time when domestic violence is setting many families apart.

Dr Maria Nassali, a law lecturer at Makerere University, described the books as the first of the kind to deal with politics of marriage and family relations.
“The judiciary has been presiding over cases without the law being passed using the supremacy of the Constitution; these books review such judicial decisions...,” Dr Nassali said.