The Supreme Court stands out at the top of the judicial pyramid as a final court of Appeal in Uganda. With one exception, it only decides cases on appeal from lower courts. The exception is presidential election petitions, where the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction, which means that an aggrieved candidate in a presidential election may petition the Supreme Court directly.
The Supreme Court is located at Plot 10 Upper Kololo along Seenu Awasthi Terrace. It is the highest court of the land and basically has only appellate jurisdiction. It entertains appeals from the Court of Appeal / Constitutional Court of Uganda; but it has unlimited civil and criminal jurisdiction (meaning it can handle any civil matter of any subject matter and can handle any criminal case of any sentence as long as it is an appeal from the Court of Appeal).
The Supreme Court is constituted by the Chief Justice (CJ) who is appointed by the president in consultation with the Judicial Service Commission and not less than ten justices. He is the head of the Judiciary and he/she is deputized by the Deputy Chief Justice who heads the Court of Appeal and other justices of the Supreme Court who must not be less than five (5) while hearing an Appeal (this is referred to as the quorum required for the court to hear any matter).
The Supreme Court is headed by the Chief Justice and supported by ten (10) Justices with the following quorum:-
- Constitutional Appeal Cases 7 Judges
- Criminal Appeal Cases 5 Judges
- Civil Appeal Cases 5 Judges
However in the absence of the Chief Justice, the most senior member of the Court presides over the sitting of the Supreme Court. It sits eight sessions a year with a break of two weeks between sessions to do research and write judgments. It has powers to uphold decisions from the lower courts, reverse them and to substitute judgments or to order for a new trial.The procedure, powers and jurisdiction of the Supreme Court are regulated by the Supreme Court rules.