The Uganda Law Reform Commission (ULRC) is set to amend the Prisons’ Act, to among other things, reflect the current situation and public demands, including availing conjugal rights for inmates.
Appearing before the legal and parliamentary affairs committee, ULRC commissioner Patrick Nyakaana said that the Prisons’ Act was archaic and needs to be amended to capture various concerns expressed by both the courts and public.
“It is a very old law. Our focus is to have all the laws reflect the current realities,” Nyakaana said.
Other amendments, he added, will be to the death and life imprisonment provisions.
However, the MPs asked the commission when amending the prisons’ Act to ensure including the provision for conjugal rights to all prisoners.
“We are all candidates of prison, so prisoners should be allowed to enjoy their conjugal rights while in prison,” proposed Gulu Municipality MP Christopher Acire, causing laughter.
Nyakaana however, told MPs that the commission would not decide on this until it has carried out consultations on the proposal from different stakeholders.
He said besides the Prisons’ Act, the commission would also reform the penal code Act to respond to the effects of court decisions, the registration of births and deaths Act, to facilitate the establishment of a reliable national data bank among other laws.
Nyakaana also told the committee that ULRC had embarked on translating the constitution among other major laws into local languages such as Luganda, Runyankole, Runyolo, Rutoro to enable Ugandans understand it better.
Meanwhile commenting on the fate of the marriage and divorce Bill whose debate was deferred for three months, Nyakaana told MPs that ULRC is still engaged in national wide advocacy about the Bill adding that its fate would only be decided by Parliament.
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