Members of parliament have no mandate to scrap or recommend the scrapping of pre-entry exams at Law Development Centre, according to Uganda Law Society-ULS.
The Society President, Simon Peter Kinobe, says the Advocates Act of 2002 instead gives the Law Council supervisory power and control of professional legal education in Uganda. Kinobe says the Law Council has a committee on Legal Education and Training that is charged with the mandate of professional legal education.
“As a statutory body mandated to guide the public on all matters touching and incidental to the law, we are of the view that parliament is not clothed with the said mandate, jurisdiction or authority….therefore, we are of the view that it is the mandate of the law council to regulate the pre-entry exam, assess its relevancy and determine its removal, not parliament,” Kinobe said in a statement.
Kinobe says Uganda Law Society is committed to supporting the Law Council and Law Development Centre in all efforts taken to regulate and standardize the provision of Legal education in Uganda. The ULS statement comes a few days after MPs endorsed a report from the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee, recommending the scrapping of the LDC pre-entry examinations.
MPs argue that scraping the pre-entry examinations would give chance to more students to train in the legal practice and enable Ugandans easy access to legal services. The Budama West MP and Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee Chairperson, Jacob Oboth Oboth told MPs that the quality of lawyers is not determined at pre-entry. He said the issue was discussed with Law Development Centre (LDC) and they didn’t have any problem with scrapping the pre-entry exams.