Members of Parliament have agreed to scrap off Pre-entry Exams to the Law School in the country to give chance to more students training into practice law.
The decision was taken following a report of the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on a number of Ministerial policy statements.
The Committee chairperson, Jackob Oboth Oboth told the house that the exams should be removed to increase access to legal practice services in the country.
“We debated these issues and found that the policy is neither servicing the purpose nor helping the already graduate lawyers who want to access the bar coarse; it is not a guarantee of quality assurance,” Oboth said.
Oboth said that after several interactions with the officials from the Law Development Centre (LDC), there was no objection to the proposal to have the Pre-entry exams removed.
“The quality of lawyers is not determined at Pre-entry, but at the center. We discussed with LDC and they have no problem with the scrapping it,” Oboth said.
The Minister of Defense Adolf Mwesigye agreed with the committee recommendations noting that there are succifient checks and balances in the system even before the Exams were introduced, to enable the legal system produce a good lawyer.
“From A-level- one must first pass very well, and after passing the degree, the curriculum at LDC is structured that you can’t pass by accident, there are constant assessments and there are oral exams which all ensure quality of a lawyer,” Mwesige said.
“We seem to be punishing our children so much, subjecting them to so much, in my view the exams should be removed,” Mwesige submitted.
The Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Kahinda Ottafire said that the decision to create pre-entry was to decongest LDC.
“This question of Pre-entry to LDC is a bit tricky, my question was, how can you have a class room of 1000 students, how can you train them? We came to a conclusion that a class of 1000 is a rally,” Otaffire said.
He noted that government has chosen to solve the problem of congestion by creating regional centres adding that one Centre in Mbarara will commence in the next financial year.
Several members of the house from both government and opposition came out and defended the committee decision against Aruu County MP, Odonga Otto and Bukooli North MP, Gaster Mugoya who expressed reservations with the committee position.
“We got very many international lobbyists asking for the liberalization of LDC, but the House declined. Today, I’m shocked that the committee has recommended that the pre-entry exam be scrapped,” Otto said.
After several minutes of deliberations, a question was put by the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and members agreed to adopt the committee report in its totally approving the decision to scrap the pre-entry exams at LDC as well.