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.


On an annual basis, LASPNET brings together its CEOs who are heads of the LASPs institutions to deliberate on a wide range of issues pertaining access to justice and legal aid service delivery particularly topical and or pressing matters. This year’s LASPNET 7th CEO’s Forum was funded by International Development Law Organization (IDLO) and held on 13th April 2022 at Hotel Africana under the theme “The role of LASPs in enhancing sustainable Legal Aid Service provision in Uganda.”

      A group phot of participants during a break time at the 7th CEO's Forum

The meeting was graced by Her Lordship Irene Mulyangonja, Court of Appeal Judge and Incoming Chairperson of Uganda Law Council and in total attended by 84 (47-Male and 37 Female) participants drawn from the Parliament, IDLO, LASPs, GNPF and Media and was moderated by Ms Sheilah Muwanga m the Vice chairperson, Board of director at LASPNET.

In her introductory remarks, Dr. Sylvia Namubiru Mukasa, the CEO of LASPNET welcomed the participants to meeting and thereafter contextualized its purpose which entailed to bring together CEOs to deliberate on the pressing issues related to sustainability of the legal aid. In her short brief she focused on   the journey of legal aid service and he informed the meeting that LASPNET in partnership with Great North Parliamentary Forum (GNPF) had been able to undertake robust advocacy interventions towards the enactment of the NLAB 2022 including identifying a private member (Hon. Silas Aogon) so far had been granted leave early this year to introduce a Private Members Bill in Parliament. She made an appeal to LASPs CEOs and requested them to earmark resources and support the pending advocacy interventions geared towards the enactment of the NLAB. Dr. Sylvia concluded her remarks by inviting all participants to honor the fallen Speaker Hon. Jacob Oulanyah, who she said was a formidable Champion of the Legal Aid Bill, unfortunately died before facilitating its enactment.

Mr. Arthur Nsereko, the Chairperson, Board of Directors while making his opening remarks appreciated various development partners of LASPNET like DGF, IDLO and UNDP that have consistently funded advocacy activities towards the enactment of the NLAB. He stressed the fact that the National Legal Aid law is meant to strengthen sustainable legal aid provision since the biggest chunk of legal aid is provided by LASPs which are largely donor dependent. “With the continued suspension of DGF, I implore LASPs CEOs to rethink whether your organizations can stand the test of time, and continue its operations,” he said.  Part of his conclusion was to reiterate the call to all CEOs to affirm their commitment towards advocacy for the NLAB by allocating resources towards various activities including media engagements and strategic meetings for MPs.

Ms. Freda Joyce Apio – Program Manager, who represented IDLO the development Partner that funded the meeting appreciated LASPNET and GNPF for the continued advocacy efforts towards the enactment of the NLAB. She underscored the fact that the Legal Aid Bill is long overdue and yet it’s one of those critical pieces of legislations intended to enhance access to justice for the poor, vulnerable and marginalized. She informed the meeting that IDLO has continued to facilitate LASPNET to implement advocacy interventions focusing on promotion of sustainable legal aid service provision. Key among the interventions supported include strategic advocacy meetings and the forthcoming benchmarking learning visits to South Africa. She concluded by informing the meeting that IDLO is committed towards improving Access to Justice which is one of the key pillars in its new Country Development Strategy.

On the other hand, Hon. Komakech Lyandro, the former MP for Gulu Municipality and mover of the Legal aid Bill 2020 took the participants s through the protracted advocacy journey which was characterized by a few milestones and numerous hurdles including the lack of political will to have the Law enacted. He mentioned the various frustrations he encountered along the away as the previous Mover and recounted when various actors within the government MDAs wanted to sabotage the process of introducing the Bill in Parliament. However, these were overcome when the former Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Rebecca Kadaga granted him leave on 11th May 2021 to introduce a Private Members Bill and later had the bill presented for first reading on 11th May 2021. His efforts were however rescinded when the late Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah passed a directive that led to the suspension of all unsaved Bills from the 10th Parliament.  

The current Private Mover of the NLAB, Hon. Aogon Silas, the Kumi Municipality MP provided a status update of advocacy processes of the Bill. He excited the participants when he informed them that he was able to secure a certificate of Financial Implication from the Ministry of Finance which offered a green light to proceed with the Bill in Parliament. He read the contents of the certificate verbatim and it read in part “The National Legal Aid Law will among other contribute towards socio-economic development, promote human rights and rule of law to the people of Uganda.” It was on this note that he urged all CEOs to provide their support towards the unfunded advocacy activities geared towards the enactment of the NLAB.

In a bid to bring the CEOs up to speed about the contents of the NLAB, Counsel John Tamale Mirundi took them through the salient features of the Bill and mentioned that the main object of the Bill is to regulate the provision of legal aid services by accredited legal aid service providers and make provision for the grant of legal aid services to the indigent, marginalized and vulnerable persons among others. He also informed the meeting the NLAB had undergone several drafting stages and some changes had been affected in a bid to secure a certificate of financial implication. For instance, the clause obligating government to fund legal aid from the consolidated fund was removed. He however advised that such clauses can always be inserted when the Bill is before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee especially with vigilance of stakeholders to push all these critical provisions through the legislative process. Further, he noted that the Bill obligates Uganda Law Council as the designated body responsible for coordination of legal aid given its statutory mandate as the regulator of legal aid service providers in Uganda.

A panel discussion then ensued and it comprised of various panelists such as Ms. Diana Angwech, the Vice President of ULS who took the members through ULS’ mandate in addition to stating that ULS is supportive of the NLAB since its intended to close the access to justice vacuum; Ms. Suzan Baluka, Senior Legal Advisor Strategic Litigation at FIDA emphasized the need to include community paralegals into the draft bill as well as undertake evidence-based media stories that underpin the need to fast track the enactment of the NLAB 2022 whereas Dr. Sylvia Namubiru Mukasa, LASPNET CEO informed the meeting that the enactment of the Legal Aid Bill is long overdue amidst limited political will since the National Legal Aid Policy remains stuck at cabinet level since 2008.  She therefore urged government to at least gift Ugandans with this law if socio-economic development is to be realized as envisioned under NDP III.

At the sidelines of the CEOs meeting, two Advocates including Counsel Gawaya Tegulle and Eron Kiiza were recognized for their outstanding contribution to the promotion and protection of Human Rights through Public Interest Litigation in Uganda whereas Dr. Sylvia Namubiru, the CEO of LASPNET and Ms. Adriko Lillian – CEO of FIDA Uganda were also appreciated by LASPNET Board after the pair  was  recognized by Courtroom Mail as among the most 100 Africa’s Influential Women in Africa in the Legal Profession.

The meeting was crowned off by the Chief Guest Her Lordship Justice Irene Mulyagona who commended LASPNET for its visibility and standing the test of time from when it was conceived. She informed the meeting that LASPNET remains dear to her having been one of its founder members. She appreciated the CEO for holding the fort and ensuring that LASPNET is one of the most recognizable Networks in Uganda. She promised to add her weight behind advocacy efforts for the enactment of the NLAB. As the incoming Chairperson of the Uganda Law Council, she was happy and welcome to the proposal of ULC at the helm of coordinating legal aid service provision. The 7th CEO’s meeting was very productive and as such resulted into the development of an Advocacy Road Map that spells out the various advocacy interventions to be undertaken by LASPNET and its members to fast track the enactment of the NLAB 2022.

This and immediately after the close of meeting, the MPs present addressed the press and reassured the public of their commitment to push through this law that is intending to benefit the common person in Uganda.

By and large the seventh (7th) CEO forum was very critical in garnering support for the advocacy efforts for legal aid as one of the strategies to ensure sustainable legal aid service provision. Key among the outcomes was the generation of recommendation that have since informed the drafting of the road map to continue advocacy and fast tracking the process of enactment of the Legal aid bill 2022

 The CEO forum in pictures

From Left:  The Board Chairperson Mr. Arthur Nsereko, the Programs Manager –IDLO Ms. Freda Joyce Apio and Hon. Lyandro Komakech on the panel, on right: All participants in a group photo with H/L Justice Irene Mulyagonja after the meeting at Hotel Africana

From left: Ms. Diana Angwech, the Vice President of ULS, Dr. Sylvia Namubiru Mukasa, the CEO of LASPNET and Ms. Suzan Baluka, Senior Legal Advisor Strategic Litigation at FIDA

From left: H/L Hon. Justice Irene Mulyagonja handing over a plague to Dr. Sylvia Namubiru Mukasa and on the right: Her Lordship giving out a certificate of recognition to Mr. Gawaya Tegulle.


From top left: CEO's paying attention to the proceedings and on the right, the former MPs, Hon. Veronica Bichetero, the former seconder of the Bill in the 10th Parliament, Hon. Lyrandro Komakech, the former Mover of the Bill in the 10th Parliament and the current mover of the Bill in the 11th Parliament Hon. Aogon Silas during the meeting. Below from the left: Mr. Gard Bender, Country Director of World Voices and another picture showing members during the meeting.

Article compiled by:

Mutebi Peter M.

Networking, Coordination and Partnership Officer

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