By Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa/ Umoja Standard.
Makarere University: On Thursday, Makerere University Law School’s subsidiary, the ‘Public Interest Law Clinic (PILAC) climaxed a set of events that intended to recognize its milestone reached at in promoting experimental learning amongst law students, legal education to vulnerable communities and others in the last decade.
Having started in 2012, PILAC focused on upbringing law students able to provide legal aid to vulnerable population freely.
It is against this background that PILAC organized a series of events to consolidate its gains in transforming legal Education, enhancing Access to Justice among others.
Speaking to media at the climax of the event, Prof. Christopher Mbaziira, the Principal Makerere University School of Law alluded to the fact that in the last ten years, they started training law students with an aim of infusing into them with elements of social justice, human rights, rule of law, and helping vulnerable population access justice.
Prof. Christopher Mbaziira, the Principal Makerere University School of Law give his address/Courtesy Photo.
Prof. Mbazira stated that for a decade now, PILAC has been able to live to the dreams for which it was formed among which was providing legal aid services to indent communities, representing indent population in the courts of law freely, and legal awareness to communities.
He mentioned that they have done a tremendous role in enhancing the culture of social justice lawyering in Uganda through PILAC. This was possible through imparting public interest lawyering consciousness into students to help communities.
“Under PILAC we have been able to move our students to most regions of the, giving legal aid and educating them about the law and how they can go about it. We’re looking forward to increase the number students under this initiative such that we can also reach to other parts of the country we’ve never been”. Prof. Mbazira.
He stressed that along the way they have been greatly affected by insufficient funds to run their activities effectively since they entirely operate on donor funding. He added that their funder (Democratic Governance Facility, DGF) has pulled out since it is leaving the country following suspension from Government.
Mpindi Percy Christopher a current student of Law at Makerere University told Umoja Standard News that PILAC has helped him to understand that he can use the principals learnt in class for the benefit of the community.
He says that he is one of the 600 students who have benefited from University-basic Legal Clinic for the last decade.
“Under PILAC, we have the Clinical Legal Education Class-a class that does many activities like externships, Legal Aid days where we go to communities and teach them about the law”. He stated.
In the same way Rechael Nabatanzi a final year Law student highlighted that from PILAC, she learnt that law that cannot impact the community is barren.
To Kabahweza Keloi a paralegal and coordinator of PILAC in Katanga area-suburb of Kampala City praised the tremendous work the clinic has done in the area saying that they were infested with all kinds of immoral behaviors but since they got these services there is a drastic change.
She stated that at the moment Katanga population now know how to go about some issues that require law since they gotten legal education from PILAC.