Parliament last evening adopted the report of the committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, which comprised the recommendation for the halting of the administration of Pre-entry examinations by Uganda Law Council for lawyers intending to enroll for the Bar course at Law Development Centre (LDC).
Hon Adolf Mwesige, Minister of Defense was of the view that there were sufficient checks and balances in the system even before the pre-entry examination. “The law school itself has a structured curricula that you cannot pass by accident.” he added. There are weekly examinations that are conducted by the institution and continuous assessments that are conducted to ensure that the students are well trained.
Members who were against the scraping of the pre-entry exams such as Hon Khainza, suggested that instead of scrapping off the pre-entry exams to LDC conducted by Law Council, the pass marks should be reduced to 50, since it is meant to check the quality of lawyers being admitted to the bar.
LDC is also reported to have opted to open other regional training centres in the different regions throughout the country in a bid to decongestant the centre in Kampala as it is. The first region out of Kampala will be the western region, in Mbarara District since it was the most prepared district interns of facilities and hostels for at least 300 students.
Hon Otafire, the Minister of Justice welcomed the suggestion to scrap the pre-entry examination citing that there are internal mechanisms within LDC to weed out the students who are not fit to practice, and that the regional centres will provide more room for the students, other than having over 1000 students in a class, which he equated to a political rally. He further noted that the pre-entry was a means to regulate the number of students, which he thought was a wrong way, but had to be done. He was thus ecstatic that the different regions were going to be opened up to decongest the current centre.
Hon Oboth Oboth, the Chairperson of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs noted that the LDC had its mechanisms to select the students for admission, and that the pre-entry examinations were simply a disservice to Ugandans who had already passed their four year training at University. He also noted that Law Council carries out monitoring and evaluation on the curriculum and approves them to be administered by the universities. It cannot therefore turn around and say the universities did not train the students well, and the students are punished by the pre-entry exams.