Uganda Law Society

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Coordinates: 0°20′11″N 32°35′14″E / 0.336283°N 32.587187°E / 0.336283; 32.587187

Uganda Law Society
Uganda Las Society logo.jpg
Type Professional association
Purpose Promote legal professionalism
Headquarters Plot 5A John Babiiha Drive (Formerly Acacia Avenue)
Location Kampala, Uganda
Official language
English
President
Mrs. Ruth Sebatindira
Vice President
Ernest W. Kalibbala
Honorary Secretary
Ahmed Kalule
Website www.uls.or.ug

The Uganda Law Society (ULS) is an association of lawyers charged with ensuring high levels of professionalism among lawyers in Uganda.

Mission[edit]

The Mission statement is: To improve the professional standards of our members and to promote respect for Human Rights, the Rule of Law and Access to Justice in Uganda.

The ULS Vision is: To excel as a professional body in the development of the legal profession and the promotion of justice in Uganda.

Objectives[edit]

The Society has both Statutory and Corporate Objectives which it strives for:

Statutory
  • To maintain and improve the standards of conduct and learning of the legal profession in Uganda.
  • To facilitate the acquisition of legal knowledge by members of the legal profession in Uganda as regards conditions of practice and otherwise.
  • To represent, protect and assist members of the legal profession in Uganda as regards conditions of practice and otherwise.
  • To protect and assist the public in Uganda in matters touching, ancillary or incidental to the law.
  • To assist the Government and the courts in all matters affecting legislation and the administration and practice of the law in Uganda.
Corporate
  • To maintain and improve the standards of conduct and learning of the legal profession in Uganda.
  • To protect and assist the public in Uganda in matters touching, ancillary or incidental to the law.
  • To strengthen collaboration with the Government of Uganda, the Judiciary and the Legislature on all matters affecting Legislation, Human Rights, Rule of Law, Good Governance and the Administration and Practice of law in Uganda.
  • To promote networking, collaboration of local and international stakeholders and legal fraternities by building linkages and exchange of expertise in the legal profession.

The Uganda Law Society was formed by an act of Parliament in 1956.[1] The ULS is governed by an executive council with representatives from each of the four regions of Uganda.[2] It is a member of the East Africa Law Society, which also includes member countries Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.[3]

Projects[edit]

Legal Aid Project (LAP)

The Legal Aid Project (LAP) was established by the Uganda Law Society in 1992, with assistance from the Norwegian Bar Association to provide legal assistance to indigent and vulnerable people in Uganda.

The Project was born out of the realization that apart form the state brief system that handles only capital offences, and the huge backlog of cases, there is no statutory free Legal Aid provision in Uganda despite the fact that a large part of Uganda's population lives below the poverty line, and without means to access justice.

To date, the project has helped and continues to help thousands of indigent men, women and children to realize their legal and Human Rights.

LAP has branches in Kabarole, Kabale, Masindi, Jinja, Gulu, Arua, Soroti, Mbarara and its head office in Kampala.

The Pro-Bono Project

Pro-bono services in Uganda are premised on the fact that a significant proportion of the Ugandan population lives in abject poverty. This leads to limited access to justice as they cannot pursue the same due to the high related costs. According to the National Development Plan, the Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) notes that the key barriers to access to justice include: growing caseloads, physical distance to service institutions, technical barriers, poverty, and lack of access by women and marginalized groups. It further indicates that women experience more barriers in accessing justice because they have higher illiteracy levels and lack information about legal rights. To this end, prevailing poverty and its attendant restriction on mobility limits access to legal services and as such occasions injustice.

The Pro-bono Scheme of the Uganda Law Society was initiated as a pilot project by the Uganda Law Society in partnership with the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, (Law Council) supported by the Legal Aid Basket Fund (LABF) in 2008.
The Project currently covers the districts of Kampala, Gulu, Jinja, Kabale, Kabarole, Masindi, Soroti, Arua and Mbarara through the satellite clinics of the Legal Aid Project (LAP) of the Uganda Law Society.

Democratic Governance for Development (DGD) Project

This partnership between Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF) and Uganda Law Society (ULS) focuses on Mobilizing Lawyers for the Rights of Ugandans. The implementation of the project is largely funded by the DGD project.

Supporting Access to Justice For Children and Youth in Eastern Africa (SAJCEA) Program

SAJCEA is a project funded by the Canadian Bar Association, initiated for purposes of strengthening access to justice for the vulnerable children and youths in the African Great Lakes region, through stakeholder collaboration, institutional development and capacity building and enhancement through sharing of ideas amongst the Justice, Law and Order Sector institutions which have formed National Working Groups (NWG) in the African Great Lakes countries of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

The Uganda National Working Group is composed of: The Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs – Department of Law Council, Justice Law and Order Sector, Paralegal Advisory Services, Legal Aid Service Providers Network (LASPNET), the Judiciary, Uganda Law Society, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions – Gender section, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development – Children and Youth Department.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Uganda Law Society Act 1956 (Ch 276)". Uganda Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 2011-09-26. 
  2. ^ "ULS Governance". ULS. Retrieved 2011-09-26. 
  3. ^ "About EALS". East Africa Law Society. Retrieved 2011-09-26.