The history of legal education in Uganda can be traced to the early 1950s. In July 1952, the then Chief Secretary of the Protectorate Government issued a Gene "AFRICAN PUPILS - CROWN LAW CHAMBERS". The General Notice read as follows: The ATTORNEY GENERAI, with the consent of the Governor has expressed his readiness to accept African pupils who are natives of Uganda in his Chambers in order to assist promising young men to prepare themselves for a career in the Colonial Legal Service or for employment in judicial and legal work with their African Local Government.

Pupils wishing to enter the Colonial Legal Service, unless already called to the Bar, would during their pupillage have to study for their Bar examinations and would also after their pupilage have to spend a period in Chambers in England. Detailed and suitable arrangements would have to be in respect of each pupil. Pupils intending to return to their local governments would have a shorter training but would be expected to pass certain examinations. Again, suitable arrangements would be made in respect of each pupil dependent on his previous experience and the employment likely to be offered him by his government.

The Attorney General himself will select the pupils, who will work under him in exactly the same manner as pupils working in banisters chambers in England. The Attorney General will be entitled to terminate any arrangement made with a pupil at any time without notice. No person will be A as a pupil unless he has a very high standard of education.

A date for interviewing candidates was set. Candidates were expected to start work in January 1953. It is interesting to note that the Government did not think of introducing the course for the degree of LL.B of the University of London as had already been done for some other disciplines at Makerere. Pupils trained in the Attorney General'sChambers and London was to qualify only as barristers-at-law. However, the scheme did not come into operation Legal practitioners continued to be wholly trained outside East Africa for the following nine years: in the Inns-of Court in London, the King's Inns in Dublin, as barristers-as law and in India as advocates. The first "natives of Uganda" to qualify as a legal practitioner, Apollo Kironde, was called to Gray's Inn in London and then to the Uganda bar on April 13, 1953. In Uganda, however, the name 'Advocate' was adopted for all legal practitioners whether qualified in London, Dublin or India.


In October 1960, the Chancellor of Great Britain appointed a Committee on Legal Education for students from Africa. Its terms of reference were wide: to consider what facilities should be made available either in the United Kingdom or elsewhere, to ensure that members of local Bars in Africa who trained in Britain possessed the knowledge and experience for practice and to consider what assistance could be given in the establishment within Africa of centers of legal education for local inhabitants. The committee's Report, better known as the Denning report, (named after Lord Denning who was the chairman of the committee) was presented to the Lord Chancellor in December 1960.

The Denning Report added momentum to the plans for the establishment of a University College at Da-es-Salaam. It recommended, "SCHOOL OF LAW (which it proposed set up in Tanganyika) should be started with all possible speed". In 1961, the University College, Da-es salaam was founded with courses leading to the degree of LL.B of the University of London. With the establishment of the University of East Africa, this relationship with London stopped. Another avenue for qualifying as legal practitioner in Uganda was thus created.

At the same time, the idea of training legal practitioners as barristers-at-law still lingered on in Uganda. A Law School had been set up at Entebbe in 1961 for the purpose of training magistrates of the then local courts who were not professionally qualified. In 1963, courses for Part of the English Bar examination were started at the school. Those who passed Part I proceeded to London for the Final.

It was now felt that there was a need for an authority to be charged with policy matters concerning legal education. Council of Legal Education composed of the Chief Justice, as its Chairman, the Attorney General, the Dean of the SCHOOL OF LAW at Dar-es-Salaam and two members nominated by the Law Society was therefore provided for in the Advocates (Ammendment) Act of 1963.

The Council was: -

    To exercise any power or perform any duty authorised or required by this or any other law; and
    to exercise general supervision and control over legal education in Uganda for the purpose of this Ordinance and to advise the Government in relation thereto.

A few years later, a decision was made to move the Law School from Entebbe to Kampala because it was believed that the Law School was academically and professionally isolated from the mainstream of events. The Uganda Government therefore proposed to transfer the School to Kampala where it might be attached to Makerere University College and thus enable students to have academic intercourse with other students and also to give them more opportunities for mixing with members of the judiciary and the Bar. It was also desired to have the school near the Attorney General's Chambers under which it fell for administration. In being attached to Makerere, the Law School was, however, not to immediately exist as a SCHOOL OF LAW but rather as a nucleus for one, which was expected if and when the university of East Africa came to an end. Makerere was to act as an "Agent" for Government in running the school. The School was also to conduct pre-enrollment courses for LL.B graduates from Dar-es-Salaam.

These proposals culminated in the establishment of a Department of Law in Faculty of Social Sciences at Makerere University College in June 1968. In July 1968 the Law Development Centre was established as a separate institution, to take over, inter alia, the functions of the Law School at Entebbe, which ceased to exist. On July 1970, the Department of law became a Faculty.