School of Law Celebrating 50 Years

The School of Law Makerere University this year will be celebrating 50 years of existence as the premier Law School in Uganda. The Climax of the planned events will be on the 12th of October 2018 where the Alumni Association will be officially launched and a fundraising drive commissioned.

During a press conference held at the School of Law Tuesday 29th 2018, the Chairperson of the organizing committee Retired Justice Lameck N. Mukasa said the celebrations were in recognition of the land mark achievements realized by the pioneer Law teaching institution in Uganda and urged all the former students to come back and contribute towards grooming the next generation of Lawyers.  Rtd. Justice Mukasa who went through the Law School in 1976 said this was an opportunity to give back to the institution that made the many lawyers out here what they are today. 

The Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe said Makerere University is proud of the School of Law, which he said is making a significant contribution to the achievements realized as a University.   While noted the then Faculty of Law started two years after Makerere University became an independent University from the University of East Africa, he said ‘ The Law program is a vibrant component of Makerere University which is highly ranked  on the continent and beyond, partly because of the contributions made by the School of Law’.   He noted for instance that all the Judges in Uganda and other prominent personalities in the field excelling in various disciplines and contributing to the stability of the country were proudly products of the School of Law and Makerere University as such, adding that Makerere University was proud to be part of these achievements and the celebrations at hand.

The Principal School of Law Dr. Christopher Mbazira said the celebrations were not only meant for merry making but also an opportunity to reflect on the past, the present and the future of the School of Law, taking cognizance of the challenges and successes realized.  He said it was necessary that the School got into contact with the people that went through its doors and commended the alumni for the positive response that has enabled the ongoing process of compiling a data base showcasing the various ways through which the alumni are contributing to society. 

Dr. Christopher Mbazira enumerated a number of the planned activities for the celebrations that included a mega fundraising drive for an endowment fund, the Dinner dance and launch of the Alumni Association, a student’s Moot competition to be done in liaison with the supreme court, Public lectures as well as a pro bono legal aid open day at the University.

He said what started in a humble beginning under the Faculty of Social Sciences has grown into a credible institution with the ever increasing demand for the programs offered.  The student population, he said, has grown from 28 in 1968 to the current 1,300 and the programs offered now include the Masters and Doctorate programs.   In addition, he said the School of Law now offers free legal aid services under the Public interest law Clinic, involves in Research on contemporary issues in Human Rights under the Human Rights and Peace Centre, handles issues of forced migration under the Refugee Law Project and Environmental issues under the Environmental Law Centre among other programs and activities ongoing.

The 50 year celebrations according to Robert Kabushenga, Chairperson of the fundraising committee, were intended to bring together all the alumni of the School of Law to make a lasting contribution to the institution that groomed them into prominence out in the field.  He said the intention was to make a contribution that would benefit the next generation of less privileged but able students interested in the Law program.  The endowment fund would also help the School of Law realize a resource base to address the ever increasing needs and demands arising from the pressures on the infrastructure as well as other needs that are vital in the realization of the core mandate of the institution, teaching and learning.

He called upon all Alumni in the field to support the cause and make meaningful contributions through which they would participate in making the next 50 years of the School of Law memorable.

The School was started in 1968 as a Department in the then Faculty of Social Sciences and in 1970, became a Faculty of Law. In 2012, under the collegiate system it attained College status but chose to retain the name “School” informed by best international practices.  

 The student population has grown from 17 graduating students in 1971 to 280 students in 2018. The total student population currently stands at 1300, the majority of students being undergraduates. The School has tremendously contributed to the human resource in the legal sector, both within and outside Uganda. Graduates of the School have gone on to become judicial officers, legal practitioners, legal advisors, legal academics and politicians. The School’s Vision remains: “To become Africa’s pre-eminent law school with a rich tradition of excellence in the teaching of law, legal training and research’ 

The 50 year preparatory  committee is comprised of a number of stakeholders that include the alumni of the School of Law.  They are as follows:

1Justice Lameck MukasaJudge of the High Court of Uganda
2Mr. Barnabas TumusingizeManaging Partner, Sebalu & Lule Advocates
3Ms. Godiva Akullo Deputy Director, Chapter Four 
4Mr. Andrew KhaukaTechnical Advisor, Judiciary of Uganda 
5Ms. Sylvia Namubiru Executive Director, Legal Aid Service Providers Network 
6Dr. Maria Nassali Lecturer, School of Law, Makerere University 
7Dr. Damalie Naggita-MusokeSenior Lecturer, School of Law, Makerere University 
8Ms. Hadijah NamyaloAssistant Lecturer, School of Law, Makerere University
9Mr. Andrew KibaayaPartner, Shonubi Musoke & Co Advocates 
10Mr. Justus KaruhangaPartner, Karuhanga Tabaro & Associates, Advocates and Solicitors 
11Dr. Christopher MbaziraPrincipal, School of Law, Makerere University 
12Dr. Ronald NaluwairoDeputy Principal, School of Law, Makerere University 
13Ms. Ritah Namisango Senior Public Relations Officer, Makerere University 
14Ms Rose NakayiSenior Lecturer, School of Law, Makerere University 
15Angelina Namakula-OfwonoHead, Legal/Company Secretary, Barclays Bank, Uganda
16Mr. Harimwomugisha FrancisSecretary Uganda Law Society Council