5 October 2017

Uganda: LDC to Open Upcountry Law Teaching Centres

Kampala — The management of the Law Development Centre (LDC) has finally agreed to open upcountry affiliated branches to teach the post graduate Bar course that produces lawyers.

Since its inception in 1969, the LDC, an educational institution for higher learning that offers various legal courses ranging from one month to one year and is located next to Makerere University in Kampala, is the only institution teaching the post-graduate diploma Bar course in legal practice.

The practice in Uganda is that without the post-graduate diploma from LDC, no lawyer is allowed to represent a litigant in court.

Previously, there had been fear to decentralise the LDC by opening branches country-wide on grounds that the process would lower the quality of lawyers produced.

"The LDC is considering decentralising and offering all its courses to the regional centres within Uganda. The rationale is to decongest the main campus in Kampala by establishing constituent colleges," a statement released by LDC's public relations officer Hamis Lukyamuzi, reads in part.

According to the LDC press statement, the institution is considering to open branches in western, eastern and northern regions.

About fears of lowering the quality of lawyers should the institution decentralise, the statement noted that quality control mechanisms will be put in place.

"Quality control measures will be put in place to ensure that students are exposed to the same training at different colleges," LDC press statement stated.

In further clearing the fears of watering down the quality of the lawyers that might come along with the decentralisation, LDC said teaching and learning manuals that are used at the main campus will be the same to be used at the upcountry colleges.

Speaking to this newspaper by telephone yesterday, Mr Lukyamuzi said the decentralisation is expected to start during the academic year 2018/19.

When asked what criteria the institution will use to distribute students to the upcountry branches, he said they intend to use the random selection. He also said the institution may ask the students their preferred choice of campus to attend.

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