KAMPALA – Uganda Law Society (ULS) has submitted a full list of over 3,000 lawyers instead of the threshold of 30 to the Judiciary to provide legal services during the current nationwide lockdown because of the Covid-19 pandemic
During his 13th televised address on the Covid-19 pandemic, President, Yoweri Museveni directed that 30 lawyers be permitted to offer legal services at a given time.
On Tuesday, the Judiciary Chief Registrar Tom Chemutai wrote to Simon Peter Kinobe, the President Uganda Law Society, asking him to submit a list of 30 lawyers as directed by the president.
But Mr Kinobe wrote back, saying that since their different clients may need legal services during the lockdown, all lawyers registered with the Society should be allowed to attend court when any of their clients needs services.
In his May 5 letter, he attached the full list of over 3,000 lawyers, saying that it is difficult and impractical to only choose 30 because different Ugandans will need representation in court at any time.
According to Kinobe, there are more than 3,000 lawyers and 900 Law firms in Kampala alone.
Last week, city lawyers Anthony Wameli and Geoffrey Turyamusiima dragged government and Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng to court seeking orders to include lawyers on the list of essential service providers.
They argued that a number of Constitutional right violations are happening in the absence of lawyers since they don’t have movement stickers.
On Wednesday, Wameli wrote to the Judiciary Chief Registrar Tom Chemutai saying that his letter and president’s directives on lawyers issued on Monday night amount to subjudice because of their case before court.
He said the directives are intended to interfere with the independence of Justice Michael Elubu who is set to deliver his judgment on the matter on Thursday.