Legal Aid in Limbo: LASPNET Demands Action

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Legal Aid in Limbo: LASPNET Demands Action
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Uganda's leading legal aid provider, LASPNET, is sounding the alarm on the government's inaction on the Legal Aid Bill. Dr. Sylvia Namubiru, LASPNET's Executive Director, blames this delay for the major gap in access to justice for ordinary citizens.

"The lack of legal aid clinics is staggering," Dr. Namubiru states. "We only have 56 serving a massive 80 districts. Passing this bill is critical to establish a proper legal aid framework."

The situation is further strained by the recent withdrawal of the key donor, the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF). Their absence leaves legal aid in Uganda dependent on the passage of the bill, which would trigger government funding.

LASPNET isn't just pushing for the bill. Dr. Namubiru also urges the Judiciary to tackle public perceptions of corruption within the system. "People still believe justice favors the rich, and delays are a denial of justice itself," she says. "There are concerns about corrupt officials, which discourages ordinary people from seeking legal help."

Dr. Namubiru made these remarks during the National Court Open Day. The event showcased initiatives by various actors in the justice system. LASPNET's message is clear: ensuring equal access to justice requires a well-funded legal aid system and a public that trusts the judiciary is free from corruption.

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