The School of Law, Makerere University through its Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC) today Tuesday 15th June, 2021 hosted a roundtable discussion with senior officials of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) under the theme: “Security in Development: Exploring Uganda’s Sectors of Economic Growth”.
Looking at the intersectionality of security, peace and development, the meeting explored specifically the role of the UPDF in advancing Uganda’s National Development aspirations and more broadly its contribution in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals particularly Goal No. 16. With growing debate on the involvement of military in a number of sectors in Uganda such as, agriculture (Operation Wealth Creation), the wildlife and forest conservation (UWA & NFA), the water resource sector (fisheries) and, the oil and mineral resources (MPPU), there is hardly any scholarly analysis on such phenomenon, a gap that HURIPEC seeks to bridge. The UPDF established under the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, 1995, Article 208 and Article 209 (b) is required to cooperate with civilian authority such as Police and as provided in the UPDF Act, engage in productive activities. This meeting explored further the nature, contributions, impact and effectiveness of the military interventions in the ‘security in development’ discourse. Interestingly, the increasing shift of the UPDF from its primary role in defending the territorial integrity of the State to its vivid involvement in development sectors needs a much deeper analysis and inquiry particularly on the aspects of functionality of such sector institutions. The temptation to engage in the national economy beyond the traditional defense economy partly lies in the question of national interests one of which is building strong institutions including the military.
The roundtable comprised of; HURIPEC team namely; Prof. Christopher Mbazira (Principal School of Law), Dr. Ronald Naluwiro (Deputy Principal School of Law), Dr. Zahara Nampewo (Director, HURIPEC), Dr. Namwase Sylvie (Post-Doc Researcher) and Jackson Odong (Associate Researcher). The UPDF officials comprised of; Major General Henry Masiko, (Chief Political Commissar and the UPDF representative to Parliament), Brig Gen Godard Busingye (Chief of Legal Services at the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs and UPDF) and Brig Gen. Felix Kulayigye, (Outgoing Member of Parliament representing UPDF and newly deployed to Operation Wealth Creation).
Prof. Mbazira Receives ULS Distinguished Service Award
By Harriet Musinguzi
Prof. Christopher Mbazira, the Acting Principal of the School of Law Makerere University has received the 2021 award from Uganda Law Society (ULS) for his Distinguished service in the Promotion of Legal Education.
Professor Mbazira, who is also coordinator of the Public Interest Law Clinic (PILAC) was recognized for entrenching the use of Clinical Legal Education methodology in the training of Law students.
In a statement shared on the ULS social media platforms, it was stated that Professor Christopher Mbazira has also spearheaded the mainstreaming of Social Justice and Human Rights across the School curricular. ‘He was one of the 9 academic staff who approached the supreme Court of Uganda and were admitted as amici in the 2016 Presidential Elections.
A number of persons and organizations have applauded the ‘well deserved’ award by Uganda Law society.
Mak Law Society Launches Golden Jubilee Celebrations
Law students have been urged to become revolutionaries by conquering themselves, identify problems and participate in the struggle to change their society and humanity without expecting anything in return.
Prof. P.L.O. Lumumba further urged the students to make good use of their time as students to become the much needed agents of change and warriors of democracy by utilizing the intellectual fire power while their time at University still holds.
This was during the Virtual launch of the Golden Jubilee Celebration of Makerere Law Society, held on Tuesday 10th August 2021.
The Guest speaker Prof. Lumumba, a Lawyer and Teacher from Kenya further expressed confidence that Makerere University School of Law was providing a good incubation opportunity for the students to enable them become good Lawyers that would be agents of change in many respects in the area of Agriculture, Politics and Law, not only in Uganda but able to dissolve the boundaries all over Africa.
In reference to the Theme of the event, ‘The Role of the Student in Contemporary Democracy”, Prof. Lumumba who described democracy as a political environment in which the people’s will is expressed, noted that the scholarly definitions of the term Democracy were euro centered and urged the law students and scholars to reconfigure the DNA of such foundational terms handed over to them in class in order to fit into the African context.
Using the example of the electoral processes as one of the tenets of democracy, he observed that the African continent had become a victim as seen from the heavy security deployments during the election period in a number of states, which he said calls into question the meaning of democracy.
Prof. Lumumba urged the Law students to establish the reasons as to why Lawyers were called ‘Learned Friends’, a history preserved for three professions including Doctors and Theologians. ‘Law is a qualification which requires extensive training, a profession in the world that claims to have mastered knowledge whose decisions bind all other professionals’, he explained.
On their role in society, he said Lawyers who were warriors of truth and justice needed to conduct themselves with dignity for the good of society.’ A Lawyer is an important agent and plays a critical role in society’ he said urging the students to be ethical, true to justice, humble and to recognize that they were not a monopoly of knowledge.
He observed that despite the fact that Law was an honorable profession, many a times, lawyers were perceived as parasitic rather than agents of social engineering in society. He urged the Law students to establish whether they were parasitic and whether the communities got better or poorer because of them.
The Guest Speaker congratulated the Makerere University community, the MLS and all stakeholders for the 50 years of existence and the monumental contribution by the association and the alumni in Uganda and beyond.
Please see embedded video below for proceedings of the MLS@50 Virtual Launch
School of Law to construct UGX 7 Billion Block
By Musinguzi Harriet
The 6th of July 2021 was a monumental day in the School of Law Makerere University following the laying of the foundation stone for the new office block. The three storied structure will house Lecture, tutorial and seminar rooms, a library, a moot court, a cafeteria and a number of offices. The project to cost Uganda Shillings 7.3 Billion is expected to be completed in a period of eight months with works undertaken by Symbion as the consultants and Ms CK Associates as the Contractor.
While presiding over the ground breaking ceremony at the School of Law, the Chairperson of Makerere University Council Mrs Lorna Magara affirmed the University’s commitment in ensuring that the structure is completed in the set time. She noted that the need for a new building for the School of Law was glaring and commended Government of Uganda for responding to the call made by Council and Management in availing resources for the project. She noted that the approved designs provided for the needed infrastructure required by the School of Law to deliver on its mandate of teaching, research and knowledge transfer in the legal field.
Mrs. Magara urged the Law faculty and students to support the University in the delivery on its mandate as provided for in the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act and the National Development Plan 3 goal of Human development. She called for provision of guidance in policy making processes and administrative decisions that have legal implications.
She further said Universities were challenged to become centers of innovation noting that Makerere University had started realising some for the results through innovations like the Kiira EV vehicle and the Covid testing kits among others. She pointed out the need to ensure the protection and reward of intellectual property rights. ‘We need to find a way to protect and reward individual innovation and enterprise within publicly funded research while providing the right incentives for researchers and innovators’ she emphasized and further called for the support of the legal expertise in the School of Law in the enforcement of the patent rights for the innovators.
The Ag. Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs Dr. Umar Kakumba noted that the all the prominent members of the bench except a few were products of the School of Law Makerere University. He congratulated the management of the School of Law for the great work realized over time despite the challenges of space and infrastructure. He specially applauded the enthusiasm exhibited in the School of Law through legal research in the Human Rights and Peace Centre, the Community Outreaches undertaken by the Public Interest Law Clinic, and the Disability Law research and advocacy in the Disability Law and Rights Centre.