The Law Council has finally accepted to scrap pre-entry exams at the Law Development Centre.
The exams introduced in 2010 by the Committee on Legal Education and Training of the Law Council as a legal requirement for joining LDC have been a centre of debate by members of the public.
However, according to resolutions by the Law Council following a meeting, they agreed to suspend the exams for a period of two years as they look into the decision to scrap the same.
“The Law Council has resolved to suspend the LDC pre-entry examinations for a period fo two years effective 2019 and LDC is authorized to admit 1680 students for the Bar Course 2019/20- 1120 in Kampala campus and 560 in Mbarara campus,” reads one of the decisions by the Law Council.
The Law Council also resolved that LDC reopens applications for the Bar Course in the year 2019/20 that had been closed on August 9, 2019 and that students not accommodated in the 2019/20 can be admitted in the year 2020/21.
According to resolutions by the Law Council, all those who passed the pre-entry exams in the previous years but had not joined LDC should be admitted in the year 2019/20
The Law Development Centre is the only institution in the country that awards Post Graduate Diplomas in law and without this qualification, a law graduate cannot be allowed to represent a litigant in court.
Following the high failure rates by law students at LDC that had triggered suspicion that universities were releasing half-baked law graduates, the Committee on Legal Education and Training for the Law Council introduced a pre-entry exam.
In 2018, Justice Minister, Kahinda Otafiire said pre-entry exams at LDC should be replaced with making the postgraduate bar course last for two years instead of the current nine months.
He said it is unfair for a person who completed four years doing a bachelors of Laws course to be denied an opportunity to join LDC for not passing pre-entry exams.
“It is dangerously stupid; it is very unfair. If we think there is need for better training, better quality, let us make LDC two years,” Otafiire said.
“If you think LDC training is not enough, let us make it two years.”