University of Zurich to Partner with the School Of Law

A delegation of staff from The University of Zurich in Switzerland has expressed interest in partnering with the School of Law Makerere University in areas of mutual interest. The visiting that will be working detailed modalities of the kind of partnerships said this were to be their first collaboration with a University in Africa.

The delegation that was meeting the Principal School of Law Dr. Christopher Mbazira in the School of Law Boardroom Monday 20th November 2017 included the Director Centre for Human Rights, Dr. iur.ResScuerch, Prof. Dr. iur. Christine Kaufmann, President of the Board, Centre for Human rights Studies, Prof. Dr. Rolf. H. Weber  Professor of International Business Law,Dr. Phil. Yasmine Inave, Director International Relations Office as well as Dr. iurGlanEge.

The team noted the need to strengthen the relationship between the School of Law Makerere University and the University of Zurich. It was explained that their University runs a centre for Human Rights studies with a lot of expertise drawn from the shared Universities, the academia and practitioners. According to Dr. iur.ResScuerch, the University of Zurich, the largest in Switzerland has a number of programs that would be of interest to the School of Law citing  the example of the two weeks summer schools, Research, and staff exchange programs. 

The Director centre for Human Rights said the centre undertakes vast research and knowledge transfer initiatives as well as conducting  bi annual  dialogues that draws expertise from the students, the academia and those in private practice that come together to inform the public of important issues using an interdisciplinary approach  and from different cultural backgrounds.The team indicated that to date there was no partnership with any university in Africa hence the visit to the School of Law Makerere University to seek possible cooperation.

In his welcoming remarks, the Dr. Mbazira said there were a number of areas where the two institutions can make meaningful collaborations. He explained that the School of Law runs a law clinic the first of its kind in Uganda founded in 2012. He informed the team that the Public Interest Law clinic undertakes a number of activities focused on Human Rights and they included Research, legal aid, internships, externships and community outreaches.

The Principal flanked by the Manager Legal Aid Unit in the Public interest Law Clinic Ms. Sandra Oryema further informed the visiting team that the School of Law hosts the secretariat of the East African Network of University Based law Clinics which brings together law schools in the region with the objective of initiating Law School based legal aid clinics where they do not exist and strengthening the existing ones by putting in place guidelines, systems and structures.

Dr. Mbazira explained that a number of staff in the School of Law have their Ph.Ds in the area of Human rights and that the Human Rights and Peace Centre has done a lot of work in the area of Human rights to date.

He mentioned further that the School of Law was in partnership with the University of Pretoria offering a Master’s program in Human Rights and Democratization in Africa where the students spend one semester at the University of Pretoria and the second one at Makerere or other Universities in the program.

In reference to the curriculum, the Principal explained that there is a Human Rights module taught to undergraduate students purposefully to interest students to take on the human Rights career. He enlisted other activities like the internship program where students are placed with organizations involved in human rights related work such as the Uganda Human Rights Commission and Equal opportunities commission.

Among other areas of possible collaborations and support identified were Freedoms  and Public space, Business and Human rights , capacity development for staff and students, legal aid services, exploring the possibilities of double degree programs, exchange agreements for staff and students, support for individual  research projects,  the extractive industry, exploring the teaching of Business and Law as a program, Information, communication and Technology (ICT) specifically on mobile financial services, migration  and the criminal law element there in.