On the 18th June 2022, the School of Law (SoL) organized a farewell party to celebrate four long-serving staff. The four members including Professor Sylvia Tamale, Mr. Nyanja Musoke, Hon. Yusuf Nsibambi and Ms. Deborah Mpiima Kisolo had worked in different positions at the School for many years and were awarded with plaques for their commitment and service to the School.
In his opening remarks, Professor Christopher Mbazira, Principal, School of Law, appreciated the four for their commitment. Prof. Mbazira noted that some of the staff being celebrated had retired while others had chosen different careers.Talking about Professor Sylvia Tamale, the Principal said,“we have enjoyed working with you, you’ve always been a mentor to so many of us, you were kindhearted and could help some students who were financially challenged as well as staff with social challenges. Thank you Professor Tamale”. Prof. Mbazira also noted that, “The beauty with academia is that your students become your colleagues and at some point they become your bosses,” he said. Prof. Mbazira also applauded Mr. Nyanja Musoke who during his tenure of service as a Lecturer of development studies taught without any discrimination and was very soft and kindhearted. The Principal also appreciated Hon. Yusuf Nsibambi for being popular and kind with students. Professor Mbazira praised Ms. Deborah Kisoro, for her photographic memory of students and thanked her for the service to the many that came to his office.
In her remarks, Professor Sylvia Tamale appreciated the School for nurturing her for 37 years. She also thanked SoL staff for organizing the party and for being fantastic colleagues. “You all know that I always come to the school, and I will always be coming to enjoy SoL benefits without teaching,” she said. Professor Tamale requested that a room be reserved for retired staff in the new SoL building.
According to Professor Mbazira, Professor Tamale was key in the construction of the building and was a member on the Steering Committee for the SoL new building, “I pledge that a room will be reserved for our retired staff,” Prof. Mbazira said. Speaking about Professor Tamale, Hon. Yusuf Nsibambi noted that, “Professor Tamale challenged the perspective and outlook of the faculty towards women, most of the bad examples given by lecturers were against women, things changed when she came in, she was really firm, principled and a loving lecturer,” he said.
Hon. Yusuf Nsibambi joined Makerere University in 1990 and was a student of Professor Sylvia Tamale, the only female member of the faculty then. Initially he fought discrimination against Muslims by the university which was sparked-off by the introduction of a new menu which was against Muslims. This was achieved together with Prof. Abasi Kiyimba. With the assistance of Professor Oloka-Onyango, Hon. Nsibambi fought the University idea of shifting the construction of the University Mosque from the current location to the location close to College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology. After realizing that many were voiceless out there, Hon. Nsibambi shifted his advocacy skills to not only Muslims but also for the voiceless. Hon. Nsibambi appreciated those he has worked especially Professor Tamale for encouraging ladies to join the school, “When I see young ladies taking the mantle, it’s really a great achievement, my mother took me to good schools. I miss the Faculty of Law, its good we have better and young people taking over,” he said.
Mr. Nyanja Musoke was a lecturer of Development Studies at School of Law, with a passion in teaching which was inherited from his grandparents. According to Mr. Musoke, “SoL is the place I have worked the longest, and I have been awarded, I really appreciate”. According to Mr. Musoke, Development Studies was the only course were I thought I would defend rights of Uganda as a country, “Development is about political, social and economic justice and law is meant to organize these,” he said. Mr. Musoke appreciated SoL for giving him an opportunity to teach, “I never had issues with Deans and Heads of Departments despite my political sensitivity and some military training, life has been very smooth for me at School of Law,” he said. According to Mr. Musoke, law is meant to organize life of society, and create a wonderful environment and make it beautiful; the lawyers we teach are learned friends but we need to go back to the roots, work with ordinary people and prove that we are their own,” he said. Mr. Musoke applauded PILAC for being very useful in addressing societal issues,“they have dealt well with the current issues of prisoners,” he said. Mr. Musoke also cautioned SoL staff from shouting too much during lecturers as it can lead to throat cancer. He also advised them to avoid over standing which can result to back and leg pain.“We teachers like shouting, but as teachers we don’t need to shout, this can cause throat cancer. The time we leave, our backs are affected with legs paining. We need stools to avoid limping and at times it leads to a stroke. We need to improve these in our service delivery,” he said.
In her remarks, Ms. Deborah Mpiima Kisolo thanked God for the gift of life and the opportunity to work since 1982 without any serious sickness. “I was born from Makerere village and am a product of Makerere University,” she said.She joined School of Law in 2011 and has served as the exam coordinator since. Ms. Deborah appreciated staff for working and walking with her. She also urged staff to embrace God in all they do.
Vice Chancellor congratulates School of Law team upon winning the 2022 All-Africa Human Rights Moot
Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, Vice Chancellor – Makerere University has congratulated the Makerere University School of Law (SoL) team – Ms. Kevin Nakimbugwe and Mr. Edwin Sabiiti upon winning the 2022 edition of the Christof Heyns African Human Rights Moot Court Competition. The Moot Competition held from the 25th – 30th July in Cairo, Egypt was hosted by The British University in Egypt.
The All Africa Moot Competition is named after Professor Christof Heyns (1959-2021)who was a Professor of Human Rights Law, Director of the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa at the University of Pretoria and a member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee. The 2022 edition attracted a total of 50 Law Schools, 38 of these were English speakers.
The Vice Chancellor hosted the winning team in his Office on Thursday, 4th August, 2022 and presented Certificates of Recognition to Kevin and Edwin for making Makerere University proud. Dr. Daniel Ruhweza, Lecturer at SoL and Patron of the Makerere University Moot Society and Mr. David Kasibante, alumni – SoL and team coach also attended the presentation.
Explaining to the Vice Chancellor, Dr. Ruhweza said, “We are happy that you have hosted this team which worked so hard to bring the trophy home”. He also highlighted the rigorous process through which the team that represented Makerere University was selected.
In his remarks, Professor Nawangwe said, “I congratulate you for winning the competition and making Makerere University proud, more especially in this centennial year of celebration for the institution. Thank you for flying the Makerere flag high which instils confidence that the University and our School of Law are centres of excellence”. He commended the team for their commitment and doing their best to represent Makerere University. Professor Nawangwe also thanked Dr. Ruhweza for committing time to support the students. He added, “this is an activity that should be supported and I will present it to the University Council for inclusion in the budget for financial year 2023/2024”.
Sharing their experience from attending the competition, Kevin and Edwin explained to the Vice Chancellor what is entailed in participating.
“The Moot was very challenging in-terms of preparing for the competition while balancing it with class work; the processing of travel documents and visas was also quiet hard. We are grateful that you have hosted us here today and also the support of the SoL, University that enabled us to triumph despite the challenges”, Ms. Nakimbugwe said. Kevin added, “we are a brilliant team and our win is evidence”.
Edwin Sabiiti who is also the President of the Makerere University Moot Society said, “the society organises internal moots, identifies the students to represent the University at various competitions. We participate in several competitions within the country, continent and internationally, only that this is the most prestigious. Makerere University are reigning champions of the national Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) Moot Court Competition”.
Edwin further explained that mooting is an opportunity to learn as well as apply the law that we learn in class. He expressed that the University should consider inclusion of mooting as a course unit on the academic transcript because a lot of time is spent in preparing for the various competitions. Edwin also requested that the University extends a supporting arm in facilitating preparations for the various moots that the students participate in.
SoL teams also won the 2018 competition held in Accra Ghana; were 2nd in 2019 edition held in Gaborone, Botswana and emerged finalists in the 2020 edition held online and the 2021 edition held in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Read more about the Competition:https://www.chr.up.ac.za/moot#:~:text=The%20Christof%20Heyns%20African%20Human,of%20human%20rights%20in%20Africa
Inaugural Makerere Law Journal Symposium held
The Makerere University School of Law (SoL) held the Inaugural Makerere Law Journal (MLJ) Symposium on 17th June 2022 under the theme, ‘Charting the Course and Diversifying Scholarly Content’. The symposium was held to give opportunity to authors of outstanding papers in recent issues of the MLJ to present their work to the general membership of the Makerere Law Society (MLS) and the public. The symposium was supported by the Public Interest Law Clinic (PILAC), SoL.
The MLJ is a student-edited law journal published by the SoL under the auspices of the law students’ union, MLS. The journal founded in 1971 considers submissions from legal writers, students, and scholars within Uganda and beyond. Quoting the pioneer editor of the MLJ, Daniel Omara Atubo, ‘the journal was intended as a medium for discourse on the immense problems of law’. The submissions may be for education purposes; aimed at causing law reform in the jurisprudence of Uganda or other African jurisdictions on matters of legal doctrine and philosophy; human rights; public policy; governance; economics among others.
Previously, the MLJ was printed annually, however, it is now a free-access online publication that considers, reviews and publishes submissions on a rolling year basis throughout the year. Access issues of the MLJ here: https://makererelawjournal.org/. At the inaugural symposium four papers were presented and interrogated by subject experts. Highlights of the papers are detailed below.
Tukwatanise Hans Rwantangare presented his paper titled, ‘A Case for The Application of the Theory of Deferred Indefeasibility in Uganda as an Instrument to Promote Indefeasibility of Title Under the Registration of Titles Act’. Abstract: The theory of deferred indefeasibility as opposed to immediate indefeasibility is presented as a means to improve security of title today. A comparison is made of the relative merits and demerits of the two theories of deferred and immediate indefeasibility. In so doing, the aim is to reconcile the outdated theory of immediate indefeasibility with the modern legal regime and to preserve its relevance in the prevailing socio-economic situation. In a comparative analysis, other jurisdictions, especially Canada are studied to ascertain how they have evolved their interpretation of the same. Inevitably, indefeasibility, as a concept of real property is analysed considering human rights perspectives as relatively impacted by the two theories.For more about Hans’ paper click: https://makererelawjournal.org/view-publication/35. The paper was discussed by Dr. Rose Nakayi, Senior Lecturer at SoL. Dr. Nakayi is a seasoned expert in land law and rights and an advocate for the reform of the mailo land tenure system.
Fatumah Ramathan-Nabulya presented her paper which had reviewed a case Baryamureeba V Kabakonjo Abwooli. In her review she argued that it was ‘A Win for Women’s Property Rights in Cohabitation’. Abstract: Marriage, especially at its dissolution, tends to be contentious owing to its cross cutting effects on property rights, children custody, spousal maintenance among others. It is more complex when that “union” is not legally recognized. Over 65% of Uganda’s couples are left out under the law because their arrangements are not contracted in accordance with the laws provided for. This potentially subjects women to unequal social laws (patriarchy) usually with no legal remedies. Hence, marriage, due to its overarching effects, can be breeding ground for the entrenchment of gender inequality. This paper reviews a High Court decision through which judicial activism is employed to lessen the plight of cohabiting women. Due to the time they have been in operation, it is often difficult to see our matrimonial laws for what they really are; patriarchal and gender indiscriminate. There is need for Judges to be fully alive to the history of these laws and the debates that led to their passing, to correct the wrongs of history.For more about Fatumah’s paper click: https://makererelawjournal.org/view-publication/23. Dr. Diana Musoke, Senior Lecturer, Islamic University in Uganda and expert on family law discussed the paper.
‘The Human Rights Implications of Uganda’s Borrowing’ paper was presented by Ruth Muhawe. Abstract: The relationship between the sovereign debt of developing countries and the protection of the social rights of citizens in those countries has received considerable analysis from the economic, political and moral perspectives, but relatively little has been written from the legal point of view. Consequently, this paper provides legal insights into the lingering crisis that sovereign debt poses to human rights, with a specific focus on the economy of Uganda. The paper is particularly concerned with examining what Uganda’s debt burden means for the basic observance and enjoyment of human rights by its citizens of both the present and the future.For more about Ruth’s paper click: https://makererelawjournal.org/issues (MLJ 2019 Issue) A constitutional law and international law expert, Dr. Busingye Kabumba, Senior Lecturer at SoL was the discussant of the paper.
A joint paper titled, ‘The Legal Risks of Cryptocurrency On State Sovereignty; A Case Study of Uganda’ was presented by Ntamugabumwe Victor & Joshua Kingdom. Abstract:State sovereignty is conventionally known to mean that all states are equal under Public International Law, the decisive criterion being effective power over territory and people. Indeed, the most rudimentary definition of a state is the organization of power over territory and people within that territory. However, sovereignty today depends much on the state’s monetary independence – the state’s capacity to control the flow of money and currency in their jurisdiction. With the constant evolution of money transactions from Cash to credit and then to crypto, the state must always be ready for each revolution so that sovereignty is kept. Cryptocurrencies work outside the existing legal financial framework and as such avoid the state’s invented structure to control their monetary policies, stability to achieve sovereignty.For more about the paper click: https://makererelawjournal.org/view-publication/17
Deans of Law Schools meet to discuss strengthening Clinical Legal Education (CLE)
On the 22nd June 2022, Professor Christopher Mbazira, Principal – Makerere University School of Law joined other Deans of Law Schools under the auspices of the East African Network of University Law Clinic (EANULAC) to discuss how to strengthen collaboration in the area of clinical methodology to teach law. Other Deans attending the meeting were Dr. Ines Kajiru, Dean of Law, University of Dodoma; Dr. Ana-Luis Haule, Dean of Law, Ruaha Catholic University; Ms Halima Miigo, Dean of Law, University of Iringa, and Ms. Agnes Mwiza Ngussa, representing Ms. Esther Mdegipala, the Dean of Law, St. Jordan University College, Morogoro Tanzania. EANULAC is supported by the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABAROLI) in this initiative.
At the meeting, the Deans discussed ways of strengthening collaboration in the area of using the clinical methodology to teach law, which involves teaching the law in context and using experiential learning methods. The Deans agreed: To use the expertise and student resources at their universities to promote human rights and access to justice in the communities in their neighbourhoods; To engage in joint activities, sharing of resources and jointly mobilise research grants in advancing their Schools and legal education in the East African region. In addition, the Deans took note of the need to revive the East African Law Teachers Association (EALTA) and committed to pursuing this matter. The EALTA will serve as a forum for sharing experiences and academic resources as well as developing curricular in line with the needs of the region.
The meeting was preceded by a training in the use of the clinical methodology of teaching law held on 21st June 2022 at St. Jordan University College in Morogoro, Tanzania. Over 30 law lecturers from the University of Dodoma, Mzumbe University, Makerere University, Ruaha Catholic University, University of Iringa, Muslim University Morogoro were trained.
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