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African Human Rights Law Journal

On-line version ISSN 1996-2096
Print version ISSN 1609-073X


KABUMBA, Busingye. The right to 'unlove': The constitutional case for no-fault divorce in Uganda. Afr. hum. rights law j. [online]. 2021, vol.21, n.2, pp.1181-1202. ISSN 1996-2096.

This article examines the constitutionality of the requirement to establish certain grounds - adultery, cruelty, desertion, bigamy and others - as a condition for the grant of divorce in Uganda. It begins with an examination of the existing legal framework, including reforms already achieved through public interest litigation, and certain changes sought to be effected via judicial activism. The article then proceeds to an analysis of the human rights issues implicated by a fault-based framework, and a consideration as to whether the public interest-based limitations in this regard pass constitutional muster. Ultimately, it is proposed that the only means of aligning this area of domestic relations law with the Constitution is through the elimination of fault as a requirement for dissolving marital bonds. Such reform would also be consistent with critical public policy concerns, including the welfare of children and the sanctity of marriage itself.

Keywords : no-fault divorce; right to unlove; constitutionality; legislative reform; judicial activism; law and society.

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