Law society punches holes in the rule of law report as Mao assures of improvement
Under the theme "Advancing the Fight for Human Rights, the Critical Role of Security Agencies," the symposium provided a platform for legal professionals, security personnel, scholars, and political actors to discuss the pivotal role of security agencies in championing human rights.
The Uganda Law Society (ULS) has unveiled its third quarterly Rule of Law Report during the 15th Annual Rule of Law Symposium held at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Kampala on Friday. The report, covering the period from July to October 2023, delves into the state of the Rule of Law within Uganda and outlines various interventions undertaken by the ULS to uphold this fundamental constitutional principle.
The Rule of Law, a cornerstone of a just and orderly society governed by laws, emphasizes the accountability of all individuals, entities, governments, and institutions under the law. It underscores the importance of transparent and consistent application of laws, ensuring that no one is above the law and that all individuals are treated fairly and equally.
Mr Nobert Mao, Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, affirmed the government’s commitment to upholding the rule of law. He emphasized ongoing efforts to improve service delivery, such as increasing the number of judges and recruiting magistrates across Uganda.
In his closing remarks, Mao urged the opposition to engage constructively with the state for regime change rather than resorting to demonization, emphasizing that a united focus on shared goals is essential for the nation’s progress.
Under the theme “Advancing the Fight for Human Rights, the Critical Role of Security Agencies,” the symposium provided a platform for legal professionals, security personnel, scholars, and political actors to discuss the pivotal role of security agencies in championing human rights.
Mr. Bernard Oundo, President of the Uganda Law Society, stressed the need for resilience among stakeholders in achieving an ideal state of Rule of Law, acknowledging the gradual and often painstaking nature of the process. He expressed satisfaction with the sustained efforts by the ULS and its partners in fostering improvements in adherence to the Rule of Law in Uganda.
The report analyzes critical events and issues, including the appointment of new judicial officers, the introduction and passage of legislation, reports on human rights violations, commissions of inquiry, cases of enforced disappearances, violations of journalists’ rights, and the general state of governance and the Rule of Law in Uganda.
President Oundo emphasized that the report aims to inspire collaborative efforts toward building a more just, equitable, and accountable society where the rule of law prevails for the benefit of all citizens. He highlighted the significance of the recommendations outlined in the report, calling for their careful analysis and implementation by relevant government ministries, departments, agencies, civil society, and the general citizenry.
Dr. Livingstone Ssewanyana, Executive Director of the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative, commended the ULS for its proactive advocacy in promoting human rights. He urged security agencies to uphold international humanitarian law principles and prevent impunity in the execution of their duties.
The report also highlighted ULS’ diverse events, including the Legal Aid/Pro Bono Week, professional training sessions, youth engagements, the Ben Kiwanuka Annual Memorial Lecture, and other initiatives, showcasing the society’s dedication to the betterment of its members and the nation at large.