MASINDI – A team from the Legal Aid Clinic of the Law Development Centre (LDC) on Tuesday paid a courtesy call on the Masindi High Court Circuit to assess the work of the Legal Aid Clinic in the area.
Led by the Lady Justice Eva Luswata, the chairperson of the LDC Legal Aid Clinic, the team also intended to explore means of enhancing the effectiveness of the clinic in rendering legal aid to the indigent.
The team that also comprised of Mr. Frank Nigel Othembi (Director LDC), Ms Margaret Apiny (Secretary, Law Council), Dr Busingye Kabumba (School of Law, Makerere University) and other senior officials of the LDC, was received by the area Resident Judge, Gadenya Paul Wolimbwa
Justice Luswata thanked the courts for embracing the clinic, which so far was doing a tremendous job in assisting poor litigants in the Magistrates Courts.
She called upon the court to set aside at least one day in a week to hear cases of the indigent. In the alternative, the Chairperson requested the courts to give affirmative action to cases of the indigent.
Mr Othembi explained that the Legal Aid Clinic was among the many interventions the Centre was engaged in to serve the indigent through the provision of legal aid alongside its statutory mandate of providing legal education.
Justice Gadenya hailed the work of the Legal Aid Clinic, especially, in the timely disposal of cases before the Chief Magistrates Court. He called upon the clinic to attach some of its attorneys to the Mediation section of the High Court to relieve the Registrar of the backlog of Mediation cases so that he can concentrate on interlocutory and administrative matters at the court.
The Resident Judge, also urged the Legal Aid Clinic to support the Plea Bargaining Programme to reduce prison congestion and improve outcomes of criminal cases.
HW Simon Kintu, the Assistant Registrar of the Court, said they will work with the Clinic to draw up mutually agreed programmes to further the mandates of both institutions.
The Legal Aid Clinic promised to support the Judiciary in its quest to administer timely and quality justice to all especially the indigent.