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Law Students Appeal For More Practical Learning Opportunities

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By Harriet Musinguzi

Pioneer students in the pilot Business Law Clinic that has been running at the School of Law, Makerere University have called for more opportunities for practical exposures in the teaching and learning of Law. They also called for an increase in the number of students in order to benefit a wider group given the proven opportunities experienced to-date.

During the learning and reflection meeting held at Piato Restaurant on Wednesday 28th October 2020, the students applauded the Principal Investigator Dr. Phiona Muhwezi Mpanga and the entire team on the program for their selfless energies in the running of the student-led program.

‘My best experience was interacting with clients, real people, with real issues, the information sessions that introduced me to concepts that I never knew, writing and coming up with documents that I never knew’, it was something new, the assignments were drawn from new areas and this made me eager to undertake them’.  said Margaret while explaining how she had benefited from the program.

Abbas Luyombya, a student with sight disability while giving his experience of the program said he got exposed to real life issues that opened his perspectives, citing the struggles of refugees and prostitutes and their effort towards redefining themselves and starting life all over. He said through community outreaches, he got the opportunity to appreciate class differences, and how people are affected by the law due to ignorance as well as the gaps between law, policy and actual implementation.  He said his best experience was in the area of business registration.

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School of Law Annual Report 2020

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The Ag. Principal School of Law, Prof. Christopher Mbazira presents on "Knowledge Transfer and Strategic Partnerships: University Meeting Community Development Needs" during the Mak Strategic Plan Drafting Meeting on 21st February 2018.

The School of Law in accordance with the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act 2001 is proud to present to you the Annual Report for 2020. Despite the Challenges realized in the period under review due to the breakout of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown, the School was able to devise ways and means of realizing the objectives using innovative means under the new normal. With the guidance of the University, the School immediately embraced technology to enable it deliver on its mandate.

In 2020, despite the restrictions in the first half, emphasis was put on the teaching, learning and research. Student centered approaches to learning were employed. In addition, the School continued with its service delivery to particularly address the needs of the communities that we serve. This was done among others through the outreaches undertaken as one element of knowledge transfer.

As a matter of fact, the practical element of the training was greatly affected. This included the internships that were affected since many organizations could not physically take on our students in observance of the SOPs. The School therefore devised means of ensuring that the students undertook some practical work that was assessed mostly online.

Albeit the challenges that are recurrent in nature year after year like inadequate infrastructure and the ever-increasing financial strain, a lot has been realized in the teaching and learning core function. Effort has been intensified in sourcing for alternative funding through mobilization of the alumni and other networks. Strategies have been laid aimed at supporting the research output as well as the infrastructure and a lot has been realized here. Indeed, one of the biggest achievements was the success in convincing the Centre to budget for a new School of Building. The procurement process in underway for this purpose.

I take this opportunity to appreciate the efforts of the staff of the School, students, alumni, partners and the University Management for their demonstrated resilience and support that enabled us compete rather difficult year.

Prof. Christopher Mbazira
Ag. Principal, School of Law

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Mak Law Students Win the LUMS Moot Court

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Third Year Law Students at Makerere University and Winners of the LUMS Moot Court; Ms. Nabuduwa Gertrude (L) and Mr. Mayanja Benson (R) smile for the camera.

Third Year Makerere University Law Students Miss Nabuduwa Gertrude and Mr. Mayanja Benson won the Lahore University of Management Science (LUMS) Moot.

The Moot which was about International Humanitarian Law (IHL)was organized by the School of Law, Lahore University of Management Science (LUMS), Pakistan.

The preliminary rounds included writing memorials and submitting video of the team making presentations, which enabled the winning team to advance to the finals on Saturday 3rd April 2020.

The finals were held on Sunday 4th April, argued against a Pakistan University and won the case.  Mr. Benson Mayanja was the best oralist.

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Ruth Muhawe, Best Overall Student, School of Law

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Ms. Ruth Muhawe, Best Overall Student, School of Law, graduated the top of her class with a CGPA of 4.38. Here she's seen taking part in the 2020 JESSUP Moot Competition where she emerged as Best Oralist. Photo credit: Twitter/@MakMootSociety

Ruth has graduated at the top of her class with a CGPA of 4.38, Second Class Honors – Upper Division. She is currently pursuing her post-graduate diploma in law at the Law Development Centre. She attended Entebbe Christian School for her primary education and Kings’ College, Budo for both her O’ and A’ level.

While at the School of Law, Ruth participated in a number of other academic activities beyond the lecture room. She was an active member of the Public Interest Law Clinic (PILAC) throughout her undergraduate studies and is a proud alumnus of the CLE Class of 2019. As a selected member of the class, she attended the Summer School on Business and Human Rights hosted by the University of Zurich in July 2019.

Because of her great passion for moot court and the School’s vibrant Moot Society, Ruth had the opportunity to represent the University at the 4th Annual National Inter-University Constitutional Law Moot Court Competitions hosted by CEHURD in 2017 and the 27th All Africa Moot Court Competitions 2018 in Accra, Ghana, both of which she won. She also emerged best oralist at the national rounds of the 2020 JESSUP moot competition. Ruth served as Deputy Editor in Chief of the Makerere Law Journal for the year 2018/2019 during which she published a paper on the human rights impact of Uganda’s sovereign debt. In her final year, she joined the pioneer team of research fellows at the Centre for Law and Emerging Technologies where she also volunteered as student coordinator for the class of 2020.

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