Mbabazi and Others v. The Attorney General and National Environmental Management Authority
Side A: Nisi Mbabazi (Individual)
Side B: Attorney General of Uganda, National Environmental Management Authority (Government)
Ugandan government's obligations to mitigate climate change pursuant to the public trust doctrine
In 2012, the plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief on behalf of four Ugandan minors. They argue that article 237 of the Ugandan Constitution makes the government of Uganda a public trustee of the nation's natural resources—including its atmosphere—and that articles 39 and 237 require the government to preserve those resources from degradation for both present and future generations. Citing multiple examples of damage and loss of life resulting from extreme weather events, the plaintiffs allege that the government has breached its constitutional duty. In addition to asking the court to declare that the government is violating its public trust duty by not addressing climate change and thereby failing to prevent present and future harms, the plaintiffs request several forms of injunctive relief, such as orders compelling the government account accurately for nationwide greenhouse gas emissions and developing a plan to mitigate those emissions.
After a preliminary hearing, the High Court ordered the parties to undertake a 90-day mediation process, but has taken no further action as of October 2017.