Our Mandate

To strengthen coordination and networking of LASPs, harmonisation and standardisation of legal aid service provision by the different service providers, lobbying and advocacy to facilitate a favourable legal and policy environment.

PARLIAMENT GIVES ATTORNEY GENERAL 30 DAYS TO TABLE THE LEGAL AID BILL 2018

On Thursday 27th September 2018, Members of Parliament displayed a united front when debating the request to allow the tabling a motion to present a Private members Legal Aid Bill. 2018. This followed a passionate presentation by Hon. Lyandro Komakech, MP Gulu Municipality and the mover of the private members bill. This motion was seconded by Hon.Veronica Eragu, the Woman MP for Kaberamaido who justified the need for the bill saying it would enable citizens access justice irrespective of their economic and social status; greatly reduce the costs for family maintenance, reduce case backlogs in courts of law as well as address the land rights of women in Uganda.

Member after member who stood to submit retaliated the importance of having a state funded legal aid Scheme noting that it will reduce inequality and accord the people of Uganda irrespective of their social background equal access to justice and fair hearing before courts of law.

Notable members of parliament who spoke in favour of tabling the bill were; Mohammad Nsereko,Denis Obua,Wilfred Niwagaba,Hellen Asamo, Barnabas Tinkasiimire, Robinah Rwakojo and Joshua Anywarach among others .

The Attorney General, William Byaruhanga tried to downplay the urgency of the bill by explaining that his office was already working with JLOS on the draft law hence no need to rush the policy. He further noted that the bill had financial implications and asked Hon.Komakech to identify the source of funding.

MPs were however not convinced with his explanation and reminded him that his office had had the bill for the last 10 years with Legal Aid Service Providers advocating for its need but their calls had gone unheard. They questioned him on how much time he needed to ensure that the bill is presented.

The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Hon.Jacob Oulanya guided the debate when he asked Hon.   Komakech his source of financing the law to which he responded that it was the consolidated fund. The Deputy speaker then ruled by giving the Attorney General 30 days within which to harmonize with the mover and present the bill for its first reading, failure of which would allow Hon.Komakech present it as a private member.

A number of LASPs led by LASPNET were present in the gallery as a form of solidarity for the motion and they included: PILAC, ACTV, LAP-ULS, AHURIO, FIDA Uganda and AFCOD Uganda among others.

The coordination of the process to present the motion was supported by the Greater North Parliamentary Forum (GNPF) which is chaired by Hon.Lyandro Komakech, in partnership with LASPNET.

The tabling of the  motion seeking leave to table a private members bill ris a great milestone for LASPNET and all legal aid actors at large who have spent almost a decade imploring government to pass the national legal aid law. The Network therefore awaits the lapse of the 30 days to guide its next course of action.

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