The Chief Justice, Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, on Thursday October 22 awarded accolades to 3 legal aid service innovators that have endeavoured to increase access to justice to the people of Uganda especially the poor.
The 3 which were chosen out of a total of 36 legal aid service innovators that applied for the competition include; legal aid of Law Development Center (LDC) which came number 3, Yunga technologies which was the first runner up and Legal Hub Uganda as the winner.
Speaking at the legal aid innovations conference and award ceremony organised by Legal Aid Service Providers Network (LASPNET), Democratic Governance Facility (DGF), Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) and their partners, Owiny-Dollo said that 80% of Ugandans cannot afford the services of a lawyer.
“Access to justice is still impeded by factors especially on the supply side. The Hague Institute for International Law (HiiL) in 2016 conducted a research which revealed that 80% of Ugandans cannot afford services of a lawyer and only 5% trust the formal justice dispute resolution mechanism. 5% of the people of Uganda can trust our justice mechanism,” said Dollo.
He added that many great nations and especially those called the East Asian Tigers have been successful in innovations in many areas of service delivery including the administration of justice because of consistency in innovations.
The Judiciary, he said, is implementing electronic case management information system, a fully featured system which automates and tracks all aspects of Court processes of a case life cycle from initial filing through disposition and appeal.
The system also has an advanced analytical reporting mechanism to simplify the legal understanding of cases.
“This system, once rolled out fully, will contribute to reduction of corrupt practices through eliminating human interaction in handling case files. We will continue to advance reforms towards increased innovations and access to the courts and information. During the current situation of COVID-19, we have witnessed increased innovations in legal aid service provision. Actors have used megaphones, situational room responding to access to justice issues among others,” he said.
The LASPNET Chief Executive Officer, Sylvia Namubiru said they endeavor to see a free and justice society where everyone’s rights are respected.
“We aspire to see a free and justice society and where everyone’s rights are respected and that is why we strategize together and collaborate as legal aid service providers,” said Namubiru.