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The 2015 Clapmoc Students Oriented

The newly recruited Community Law Program and Mobile Clinic (CLAPMOC) students in the School of Law have been inducted into the program. This is one of the activities in the Public Interest Law Clinic in the School of Law. The event took place at the School of Law yesterday and was attended among others by the instructors of the program.

While explaining the objectives of the program Ms. Dianah Ahumuza Ateenyi one of the instructors informed the students that CLAPMOC started way back in September 2013 and has since concentrated in serving the communities neighbouring Makerere University namely Kivulu, Katanga, Kikoni and Kikubamutwe in Kabalagala. Plans are underway to reach out to the University community as well, she said.

She said the program aims at promoting social justice and is beneficial to both the students and the communities. The students learn and acquire skills in the process of helping service the justice needs of the communities, while the communities benefit from the guidance and legal representation from the law students and the part time advocates who guide the students while in the field.

Ms Ahumuza explained that CLAPMOC operates at various levels that include the community legal literacy sessions and mobile clinics in the communities, legal counselling, mediation and court representation. Through the community literacy programs, students try to find out the legal problems of the communities in order to determine the law needed, with guidance of the instructors. Thereafter, the students conduct a mobile law clinic and depending on the nature of the cases, determine whether to refer the case to the walk in clinic.

Ms. Sandra Oryema the PILAC Advocate informed the student that their actions in the communities are bound by the code of conduct. She said while in the community, they ought to work as a team and avoid temptations of exchanging contacts with the clients. The walk in clinic at the school of law handles cases referred from such community sessions, she said.

She said plans are underway to involve the student much more in the walk in clinic at the School of law in order to help them acquire more skills in handling clients.
She however cautioned the students to avoid temptations of going beyond their limit given that students are limited by law not to go to court, much as the community interventions are majorly student led.

In addition to Community Law programs, the Public Interest Law Clinic manages the teaching of CLE, engages in research, supports and undertakes litigation relevant to the advancement of public interest law for the protection of the vulnerable. PILAC also fits well with recent University policy that all students, including law students, undertake field attachment as a practical component of their training.