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About the School

HISTORY

The School of Law has since evolved from what started as a SCHOOL OF LAW in 1968, the School  has sought to provide quality education in study of Law and Legal Sciences, and to promote the development of a well-rounded scholar and advocate. Over the thirty years of its existence, the School has expanded tremendously. While the fast graduating class (1968-71) was made up of 17 male students and 6 women, the Class of 1997- 2001 boasts a total of nearly 300, with a female enrollment of nearly 40 percent Whereas the Faculty opened with only 6 teachers, today it is made up of a teaching staff of over thirty, comprising 24 men and 8 women. All of them are Ugandan academics who have distinguished themselves m their respective disciplines. Commencing as a department in the faculty of Social Sciences, today the Faculty is divided into four departments, viz., Law & Jurisprudence, Commercial Law, Public and Comparative Law and the Human Rights & Peace Centre (HURIPEC). The education offered by the Faculty today is extremely diverse. Not only is the regular (day) program growing from strength to strength, but in 1993 the Faculty pioneered the introduction of Evening classes - a practice that was quickly emulated throughout the university campus- Postgraduate degrees are currently offered at the Masters (LL-M) and Doctorate (LL-D) level, and both are attracting a considerable clientele.

The SCHOOL OF LAW is poised to enter the 21st Century as a trail-blazer in the arena of legal teaching scholarship and practice, providing personnel for traditional law practice, non-governmental service, international diplomacy and academia. Not only has it strengthened the traditional areas of teaching such as Legal methods, Land law and Civil Procedure, but it is introducing new areas that meet the challenges of the new millennium, such as Legal informatics, Gender and the Law, and Clinical Legal Education. All these developments have projected the Faculty back into the international arena, drawing student app4cations from within the Greater Eastern Africa region, and further afield.

THE SCHOOL OF LAW IN GENERAL

Makerere University has served as the traditional seat of academic excellence in English speaking Africa. The SCHOOL OF LAW has opened its doors to students since 1968 and expanded to a current student body of over 650 students and 30 distinguished faculties. The SCHOOL OF LAW has continuously adapted itself to suit diverse student needs in a rapidly changing and growing regional economy. Makerere SCHOOL OF LAW continues, each year, to attract some of the nation's best and maintains a diverse student body with a greater degree of gender balance than any other professional school on the campus.

At the undergraduate level, the SCHOOL OF LAW offers the 4-year undergraduate Bachelor of Laws (LLB.) degree. This course is conducted simultaneously in the Full-time Day program and Evening Program. Each of the two is specially suited for a different class of student, the latter being tailored to professionals who want to deepen their knowledge of law- or are called to the legal profession later in fife and is exclusively available to self-sponsored students. The extension of the course to four years was intended to both .0broaden and deepen the students' grasp of legal concepts and their relationship to other disciplines. It also gives a much wider choice of subjects, particularly in the final year of study. At the graduate level, the SCHOOL OF LAW offers the 2-year Master of Laws (LL.M) degree and the Doctor of Laws (LL.D.). At the Master's level, there is no specialization but the student has the choice to tailor his/her academic and professional needs according to their interests. The Doctor of Laws generally follows the Doctor of Philosophy structure and is similar in academic rigour.

THE SCHOOL OF LAW

The history of legal education in Uganda can be traced to the early 1950s. In July 1952, the then Chief Secretary of the Protectorate Government issued a Gene "AFRICAN PUPILS - CROWN LAW CHAMBERS". The General Notice read as follows: The ATTORNEY GENERAI, with the consent of the Governor has expressed his readiness to accept African pupils who are natives of Uganda in his Chambers in order to assist promising young men to prepare themselves for a career in the Colonial Legal Service or for employment in judicial and legal work with their African Local Government.

Pupils wishing to enter the Colonial Legal Service, unless already called to the Bar, would during their pupillage have to study for their Bar examinations and would also after their pupilage have to spend a period in Chambers in England. Detailed and suitable arrangements would have to be in respect of each pupil. Pupils intending to return to their local governments would have a shorter training but would be expected to pass certain examinations. Again, suitable arrangements would be made in respect of each pupil dependent on his previous experience and the employment likely to be offered him by his government.

The Attorney General himself will select the pupils, who will work under him in exactly the same manner as pupils working in banisters chambers in England. The Attorney General will be entitled to terminate any arrangement made with a pupil at any time without notice. No person will be A as a pupil unless he has a very high standard of education.

A date for interviewing candidates was set. Candidates were expected to start work in January 1953. It is interesting to note that the Government did not think of introducing the course for the degree of LL.B of the University of London as had already been done for some other disciplines at Makerere. Pupils trained in the Attorney General'sChambers and London was to qualify only as barristers-at-law. However, the scheme did not come into operation Legal practitioners continued to be wholly trained outside East Africa for the following nine years: in the Inns-of Court in London, the King's Inns in Dublin, as barristers-as law and in India as advocates. The first "natives of Uganda" to qualify as a legal practitioner, Apollo Kironde, was called to Gray's Inn in London and then to the Uganda bar on April 13, 1953. In Uganda, however, the name 'Advocate' was adopted for all legal practitioners whether qualified in London, Dublin or India.

 

In October 1960, the Chancellor of Great Britain appointed a Committee on Legal Education for students from Africa. Its terms of reference were wide: to consider what facilities should be made available either in the United Kingdom or elsewhere, to ensure that members of local Bars in Africa who trained in Britain possessed the knowledge and experience for practice and to consider what assistance could be given in the establishment within Africa of centers of legal education for local inhabitants. The committee's Report, better known as the Denning report, (named after Lord Denning who was the chairman of the committee) was presented to the Lord Chancellor in December 1960.

The Denning Report added momentum to the plans for the establishment of a University College at Da-es-Salaam. It recommended, "SCHOOL OF LAW (which it proposed set up in Tanganyika) should be started with all possible speed". In 1961, the University College, Da-es salaam was founded with courses leading to the degree of LL.B of the University of London. With the establishment of the University of East Africa, this relationship with London stopped. Another avenue for qualifying as legal practitioner in Uganda was thus created.

At the same time, the idea of training legal practitioners as barristers-at-law still lingered on in Uganda. A Law School had been set up at Entebbe in 1961 for the purpose of training magistrates of the then local courts who were not professionally qualified. In 1963, courses for Part of the English Bar examination were started at the school. Those who passed Part I proceeded to London for the Final.

It was now felt that there was a need for an authority to be charged with policy matters concerning legal education. Council of Legal Education composed of the Chief Justice, as its Chairman, the Attorney General, the Dean of the SCHOOL OF LAW at Dar-es-Salaam and two members nominated by the Law Society was therefore provided for in the Advocates (Ammendment) Act of 1963.

The Council was: -

    To exercise any power or perform any duty authorised or required by this or any other law; and
    to exercise general supervision and control over legal education in Uganda for the purpose of this Ordinance and to advise the Government in relation thereto.

A few years later, a decision was made to move the Law School from Entebbe to Kampala because it was believed that the Law School was academically and professionally isolated from the mainstream of events. The Uganda Government therefore proposed to transfer the School to Kampala where it might be attached to Makerere University College and thus enable students to have academic intercourse with other students and also to give them more opportunities for mixing with members of the judiciary and the Bar. It was also desired to have the school near the Attorney General's Chambers under which it fell for administration. In being attached to Makerere, the Law School was, however, not to immediately exist as a SCHOOL OF LAW but rather as a nucleus for one, which was expected if and when the university of East Africa came to an end. Makerere was to act as an "Agent" for Government in running the school. The School was also to conduct pre-enrollment courses for LL.B graduates from Dar-es-Salaam.

These proposals culminated in the establishment of a Department of Law in Faculty of Social Sciences at Makerere University College in June 1968. In July 1968 the Law Development Centre was established as a separate institution, to take over, inter alia, the functions of the Law School at Entebbe, which ceased to exist. On July 1970, the Department of law became a Faculty.

OBJECTIVES OF THE SCHOOL OF LAW

The SCHOOL OF LAW has the following as its objectives:

    To educate Ugandan lawyers in their own country so that they are more familiar with Ugandan Law, the legal system and all the legal problems in their sociological, political, economic and general cultural context.
    To produce law graduates who are satisfactorily prepared for further training and grooming for professional practice that is of value and service to the people individually and to the country at large.
    To produce law graduates of the highest academic standing and calibre competent to execute all and any legal work in any capacity either as state Attorneys or as private legal practitioners of legal executive officers.
    To provide other University students and members of the public with the quality and quantity of legal knowledge and service required in their residence; and,
    To preserve and foster the traditional role of a university in propagating knowledge both within and outside the country of its setting.

School Vision

To be of Africa’s pre-eminent Law Schools with a rich tradition of excellence in the teaching of Law, Legal training and Research.

Mission Statement

To impart quality legal knowledge and skills within an inter-disciplinary framework inspired by legal scholarship, outreach and a commitment to Justice for all, and produce graduates well equipped to deal with new and emerging legal problems who will serve their clients and the community with integrity and excellence.