Profiles

Public Interest Law Clinic

About

Uganda Pentecostal University Public Interest Law Clinic is the first University based Law Clinic in Western Uganda. The goal of the Public Interest Law clinic is to promote access to justice through clinical methods to teach law at the University, and community legal education and legal representation for the indigent. The Clinic intends to achieve this goal by deploying a number of strategies including building the capacity of Law students to practice law by applying the legal theory studied in class, in the provision of legal aid to community members. Through the Clinic, students will provide pro bono legal assistance to targeted marginalized groups in the local community. The clinic will also retain practicing laws as part-time advocates to not only mentor the law Students, but also represent communities in public interest cases and other matters that end up before court.

Background

The Uganda Pentecostal University (UPU) originated from the Grotius School of Law and Professional Studies based in Mengo, Kampala in February 2001. The school initially operated as part of another University. Owing to its distinct character, in 2004, the school was advised by the National Council for Higher Education to apply for a separate license or operate as a University or Tertiary institution. The school opted to register as the Uganda Pentecostal University and was licensed on 9th August 2005 by the National Council for Higher Education. In partnership with the United Pentecostal Churches International of Uganda, the University was opened in Fort Portal in Western Uganda. The University is situated at Mucwa complex off Kasese road. UPU is the only private university that offers legal education in Western Uganda. The University has educated numerous lawyers over the years through the University bursary scheme that targets needy students from areas around Kasese, Bunyoro, Kigezi, Fortportal, Ntungamo among others.

Vision

The proposed Law clinic will operate consistently with the vision of the University which is "To be a university that promotes excellence in teaching, research and advancement and dissemination of knowledge".

Mision

Promote access to justice through community legal education.

Objectives
  1. To provide legal representation and legal services to indigent people on wide range of matters including; human rights, criminal law, family law and socio economic rights issues. Given the absence of a legal aid clinic in Western Uganda, the proposed clinic will deal with all clients with particular emphasis on those from disadvantaged settings.
  2. To provide undergraduate law students with clinical legal education. The proposed clinic will provide an environment where students learn through the provision of services not only to enrich their lives but can fundamentally change the lives of those they are supporting. The clinic will take on a more practical approach by focusing on case analysis, field research, presentations by students, group work, role play, moot sessions, court visits and bringing external experts to lecture on selected topics. To conduct this, the clinic will partner with line institutions like the Ministry of Justice, Judiciary, Justice Law and Order Sector, Law Council, Makerere University Public Interest Law Clinic for learning and exposure among others.
  3. To provide legal support and legal services to partners and advise institutions. The proposed clinic shall also have a research and advocacy wing to address emergent issues.
  4. To organize seminars of interest to undergraduate as well as graduate students, advocates, judicial officers, prosecutors and legal advisors to tackle pertinent legal issues.