“I know that under all the three provisions stated above, only Makerere University, and not any other recognized university accredited to teach Law in Uganda, is a member of the said bodies although she’s 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
Lawyer Deusdedit Bwengye has petitioned the
High Court seeking orders directing the government to include 13 law teaching
universities on three statutory bodies, which make decisions about the
progress of the legal profession in the country.
They include Islamic 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
According to the suit filed before Mbarara High Court, the applicant wants the universities to have
representation 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, 1970 and Advocates Act of 1970.
In his application before the court, Bwengye says that there are 14 universities in the country accredited to teach
Law but only Makerere University sits on the three bodies, which make decisions
about the progress of the legal profession in the country.
“I know that under all the three provisions
stated above, only Makerere
University, and not any other recognized university accredited to teach
Law in Uganda, is a member of the said bodies although she’s 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 says that the said universities, their
students, staff, and Alumni have the constitutional right to be treated equally
before and under the law in all spheres of life just like Makerere University.
He further contends that the said universities are not supposed to be discriminated
against by the government on the basis of their belated attainment
of corporate personality and accreditation of their faculties of Law.
The Universities in question were
founded later than Makerere
University, which started in 1922 and their faculties of Law were accredited later than that of Makerere University
which was founded in 1968 just two years before the Makerere
University Act, the Law Development Center Act, and the Advocates Act, which commenced
By the time the Law Development Act and
the Advocates Act were enacted in 1970, Makerere University had already
been incorporated under the Makerere University Act and was the only
university in Uganda teaching Law. That is why the Head of its Department
of Law was made a statutory member of the LDC Management Committee and the
Law Council to represent the aspirations of a university, her students, staff, and
But according to the petitioner, the
status quo has since changed because gone are the days when Makerere
University enjoyed the monopoly of the teaching Law in Uganda. “That I know that the subject matter
of this application is one of great national importance since the legal
profession as a key ingredient of the right to access to justice must be jealously protected and freely studied, taught, and practiced
without recourse to the identity of the university which a legal practitioner or
academic professional attended or a law student is attending,” says Bwengye.
According to Bwengye, he has brought the suit in the public interest for the wider public good for the enforcement of the right to equality
and freedom from discrimination, the right to
participate in the affairs of government, and to influence government
policies related to the study, practice, and teaching of the legal profession
of the said universities, their students, staff, and Alumni and the general
public. The Attorney General is the only respondent to this case which is yet to be fixed for hearing.