Bill for free legal services in the offing
The Legal Aid Bill that provides for easy access to free legal services will soon be tabled in Parliament.
This was revealed at a workshop for Members of Parliament to induct them as legal aid ambassadors to ensure justice for all Ugandans. The workshop was held at the Kampala Serena Hotel, Tuesday, 31 July 2018.
The Legal Aid Bill, 2018 provides for easy access to free legal aid by marginalized and vulnerable groups and also regulate the legal aid service providers in the country.
Hon. Lyandro Komakech (DP, Gulu Municipality), also Chairperson of the Greater North Parliamentary Forum said the Bill is ready to be presented to the House and that legislators should then be able to act as ambassadors for the good of all Ugandans.
“Our aim should be building synergies, mutual support and collaboration to ensure that the national Legal Aid Bill 2018 is passed. If this piece of legislation is assented to, then all Ugandans, the poor and the rich, will have access to equal representation,” he said.
Sylvia Namubiru, the Executive Director Legal Aid Service Providers Network (LASPNET) said, “Once the bill is passed into law, it will give the legal aid service providers an opportunity to complement government’s effort to make justice accessible to everyone in the country at a free cost.”
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah, said in law, there is a presumption of innocence until found guilty but most times the poor end up in jail because of lack of representation.
“The Legal Aid is necessary to cover the less privileged and we need to put a law in place because we are not the Non-Governmental Organisations; we are a government and we should be pushing for a law,” he said while closing the meeting.