The Illegality Defense: A Case for Reform in Uganda’s Judicial System


25 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2021

See all articles by Maurice Kabazzi

Maurice Kabazzi

Makerere University, School of Law

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Date Written: September 9, 2021


The illegality rule is strict and inflexible. Its application has often led to unjust results between the parties who seek court’s intervention. The courts need to apply a more liberal and flexible framework for the illegality defence. Professor Virgo asserts that, UK Supreme Court in Patel v Mirza1 has adopted a discretionary approach as regards the interpretation of illegality2. Uganda’s judiciary on the other hand lacks a framework on application of illegality rule. This article focuses on the uncertainty, complexity and injustice of the illegality as considerations for judicial reform of illegality in private law. The author compared the English position and the Singapore approach to illegality test. Finally, this article is presenting a novel test for illegality in Uganda’s judiciary.

Keywords: The Illegality Defence

Suggested Citation

Maurice Lwanga, Kabazzi, The Illegality Defense: A Case for Reform in Uganda’s Judicial System (September 9, 2021). MAKERERE LAW JOURNAL 2021, Available at SSRN:

Kabazzi Maurice Lwanga (Contact Author)

Makerere University, School of Law ( email )


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