MBARARA, UGANDA – Lawyer Deusdedit Bwengye has petitioned the High Court for an order directing the government to include 13 law teaching universities on three statutory bodies that make decisions about the legal profession’s advancement in the country. (Lawyer wants Nkumba and IUIU to be represented on legal professional bodies)
Islam University in Uganda (IUIU), Nkumba University, International University of East Africa (IUEA), Cavendish University, Kampala University (KU), Uganda Pentecostal University (UPU), St. Augustine International University, Uganda Christian University (UCU), Busoga University, Gulu University, Victoria University, Bishop Stuart University (BSU), and Kampala International University are among them (KIU).
The applicant requests that the universities be represented on the Law Development Center Management Committee, Law Council, and Committee on Legal Education and Training, all of which are established under the Law Development Center Act of 1970 and the Advocates Act of 1970.
According to Bwengye’s application to the court, there are 14 universities in the country that are accredited to teach law, but only Makerere University sits on the three bodies that make decisions about the advancement of the legal profession in the country.
“I am aware that under all three provisions stated above, only Makerere University is a member of the said bodies, despite the fact that she is represented thereon by the Head of her Department or Faculty of Law under the Law Development Centre Act, CAP 132, and the Dean of her Faculty of Law under the Advocates Act, CAP 267,” reads Bwengye’s affidavit.
He claims that the aforementioned universities, their students, staff, and alumni, like Makerere University, have the constitutional right to be treated equally before and under the law in all aspects of life. He also claims that the government has no right to discriminate against the aforementioned universities.
The universities in question were established after Makerere University, which was established in 1922, and their faculties of law were established after Makerere University, which was established in 1968, just two years before the Makerere University Act, the Law Development Center Act, and the Advocates Act, all of which were enacted in 1970.
Makerere University had already been incorporated under the Makerere University Act by the time the Law Development Act and the Advocates Act were enacted in 1970, and it was the only university in Uganda teaching law. As a result, the Head of its Department of Law was appointed as a statutory member of the LDC Management Committee and the Law Council to represent the aspirations of a university, its students, faculty, and alumni.
However, the petitioner claims that the status quo has since changed because Makerere University no longer has a monopoly on teaching law in Uganda. “I am aware that the subject matter of this application is of great national importance because the legal profession, as a key component of the right to access to justice, must be jealously protected and freely studied, taught, and practiced without regard to the identity of the university which a legal practitioner or academic professional attended or a law student is attending,” Bwengye says.
According to Bwengye, he filed the suit in the public interest for the greater public good to enforce the right to equality and freedom from discrimination, the right to participate in government affairs, and the right to influence government policies related to the study, practice, and teaching of the legal profession of the aforementioned universities, their students, staff, and Alumni, and the general public. The only respondent in this case, which has yet to be scheduled for hearing, is the Attorney General. (Lawyer wants Nkumba and IUIU to be represented on legal professional bodies – celebrity jazz ug)