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EVENT WATCH: 3rd Annual National Legal Aid Conference

The 3rd Annual National Legal Aid Conference (LAC) The 3rd Annual National Legal Aid Conference (LAC)


Legal aid is the provision of free or subsidized legal services to mainly poor and vulnerable people who cannot afford the services of paid lawyers. The right to legal aid is well entrenched in the International and Regional human rights treaty framework to most of which Uganda is a state party. The provision of legal aid addresses the concerns of the poor and vulnerable by focusing on challenges arising from: affordability of user costs, lack of legal representation, and alienation due to technicalities, language and ignorance of legal rights.

Poverty, ignorance of the law, the effect of armed conflict, disability or other vulnerability or marginalization are some of the factors that undermine access to justice for the majority of Ugandans. The provision of Legal Aid will greatly contribute to the empowerment of individuals and communities – a key ingredient of poverty reduction efforts thereby contributing to economic development.

The provision of Legal Aid by the state will not only benefit particular affected individuals but the state as a whole. It will reduce case backlog by ensuring that litigants do not file frivolous cases. In turn, the time that would have been spent in the lengthy litigation process will be used to engage in productive activities. The Government of Uganda banks on the agricultural sector to boost economic growth. Notably, Agriculture in Uganda is done in the rural areas by the people who are most affected by poverty. When these people interface with the Justice system, they usually spend their little earnings, in the unpredictable and lengthy litigation. With legal Aid, such persons would be given appropriate legal advice, which would save their time and see them invest their energies in productive work.

About the Conference
Every year, with support from Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) and the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS), Justice Centres Uganda and other non-state actors under the Legal Aid Service Provider’s Network (LASPNET) brings together key decision makers to discuss Legal Aid service provision in Uganda and to track its progress. This year’s conference is organized under the theme; “Sustainable Funding and Legal Aid Service Delivery by the State” and shall be held from August 9-10, 2015 at Speke Resort Munyonyo, Kampala. H.E the President of the Republic of Uganda is expected to grace the occasion as the chief guest. By drawing lessons from other Jurisdictions such as South Africa where the Legal Aid scheme has worked excellently and with guidance from key stakeholders in the Government of Uganda, participants will discuss the sustainability of a state funded Legal Aid Body in Uganda.

Conference Objectives
The 3rd Annual Legal Aid Conference is intended;
1)    To discuss the current efforts to establish a National Legal Aid body.
2)    To discuss the sustainability of a state funded Legal Aid Body.
3)    To share the lessons and best practices learnt in Legal Aid service delivery.

Target Audience
The conference shall bring together key stakeholders, policy and decision makers in Uganda including representatives from the Executive, Parliament, Judiciary, other Government Diplomatic missions and civil society organisations among others.

For more information, Contact:
Justice Centres Uganda
National Coordination office.
Chambers F6 and F8, High Court Building, Kampala.

P. O. Box 26365 Kampala

Tel: Office: +256 414 256626
Toll free line: 080 010 0210

Media and Publicity:
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Conference Coordination:
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