If you want to become a qualified lawyer in Uganda, you will need to undergo a two-year Bar Course (Post Graduate Diploma in Law) Law Development Centre (LDC) if government’s plan is implemented.
Previously, the Course was for 9 months. The move to extend the duration to two years will abolish the pre-entry exams for students wishing be become advocates, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affair, Kahinda Otafiire, has said.
He says that there is no reason why students that have pursued Bachelors in Law for four years at Law School should be declared stupid, just for failing to pass pre-entry exams.
The Minister made the remarks Thursday at Parliament where he had appeared before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee along with stakeholders in Legal training to discuss the matter of abolishing pre-entry exams at LDC.
“If you think LDC training isn’t enough, let us make it two years. Bring in all these fellows for two years, drill them, squeeze them and they pass and fail. But to say I can’t give you a chance, that I have done four years of legal training and got my degree and you tell me at the entrance of Bar course that I am dangerously stupid; that I can’t make it. If we think there is need for better training for quality, let us make LDC two years. If you fail, you go on provided you pay for yourself,” Kahinda said.
The Committee Chairperson, Jacob Oboth Oboth was aimed at discussing if LDC pre-entry exams were serving the purpose they were intended given the liberalisation of Law School.
Justice Remmy Kasule, Chairperson Law Council warned against abolishing pre-entry exams calling on people handling the matter not to look at it through the question of controlling numbers.
The Justice also rubbished arguments that pre-entry exams were locking out students from actualizing their dreams of becoming advocates stating that whereas the earlier practice saw those students who had failed have their dreams fail, the practice has changed where students can keep taking the pre-entry exams to the pint of passing.
“It isn’t a question of numbers; it is question of quality assurance. The question of numbers may have been there at first, but it is no longer there now,” Kasule said.