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Legal aid: Ensuring access to justice to the poor

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17
Sep 2015

 

“My name is Rose (not real name) and I have been referred to you by Judge Richard (not real name) from the Land Division of the High Court of Uganda. I am a Kibanja holder on a piece of land on which I have lived with my late husband for sixty nine years now. My husband passed away in February 2013 and he was buried on the same Kibanja. The week he was buried unidentified people came onto our land in the deep of the night, cut down all the coffee and banana plantations and in the morning, we were informed by one who identified himself as a surveyor that the owners of the land wanted us off. We frantically run around and with our reputation as the poorest family in Masanafu we had no money to give to the police to help us. We none the less approached them and they stated that as the oldest residents of our village, they would do whatever it takes to help us. They had also heard about Justice Centres Uganda (JCU) and they provided us a toll free number which when we called, we got very kind attention to our matter. The surveyor was arrested with the help of JCU and that is how I can still smile today, because of the availability of a free legal service which I could never have dreamed of had I to pay for it myself!”

A tour of Kabarole DCC

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23
Oct 2014

KABAROLE - It started at a light note as members of various committees shared results of outstanding assignments on various judicial matters. Like a bomb slowly daring to explode, the meeting slowly boiled from one controversy to another; but thankfully members appeared more than willing to embrace change. First was a submission by one member on the use of the L.C Court as a best practice for diverting petty offences. It wasn’t long before another official threw in a challenge insisting that L.C Courts are acting illegally having been pronounced outlawed by the Constitutional court and therefore have no mandate to handle any case. The general feeling at the end of the day with guidance from the chairperson was that the illegality of L.C courts notwithstanding, the role of L.C courts in case diversion cannot be overstated.

Excerpts from the Justice for Children 3rd Quarter review meeting

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10
Sep 2014

 

KITGUM - His Worship Felix Omara, Chief Magistrate Kitgum in his opening remarks welcomed participants to Kitgum. “If children “copy and paste”, who do they copy from?" he questioned the participants. He suggested, "It’s from us. Let’s learn only one thing- we need to find out workable solutions and stop lamenting. If you say there are lots of children in the prisons, how did they get there? If we don’t handle ourselves well as parents or potential parents, there’s no way the children will be different”
 

 

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