By Max Patrick Ocaido
Over 200 lawyers have again failed Law Development Centre (LDC) exams after the law school provided special and supplementary exams following bad performance last year.
The Bar Course leads to the award of a diploma in legal practice, which is a requisite qualification for any lawyer in Uganda seeking to practice as an advocate of the High Court.
In December 2018, LDC released results for the 2017/2018 Bar Course showing that out of over 800 lawyers that sat exams in August, a whopping 650 had failed and would only graduate if they re-sit and pass the supplementary papers.
Indeed, the Board of Examiners met on 13 May, 2019 and considered special and supplementary final examination results of the Post Graduate Bar Course for 2017/2018 and previous years. The LDC Management Committee approved the results at its meeting held on 20th May, 2019, according to Mary Nakigozi, the Acting Academic registrar.
The latest released exam results show that out of 650 lawyers who had to take supplementary exams for 2017/18, 412 passed while 183 failed but have been allowed to repeat the failed subject(s) in the subsequent Academic Year. Among those who will not graduate on June 21, 2019 include Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga. DP’s Mpuuga failed weekly Individual Assessment tests in civil litigation, corporate and commercial practice, criminal proceedings, and family law practice and land transactions. 22 other lawyers did not sit for exams while a one Timothy Kalende’s results have been withheld. Among those who thrived include; former NRM head of youth desk, Robert Rutaro, Daily Monitor’s Ivan Okuda and New Vision’s Moses Walubiri.
For 2016/17 Academic Year, 12 others will also be graduating in June having passed supplementary exams, while 14 others failed for the second time. For 2015/16, 11 lawyers have qualified for award of Diploma in Legal Practice of the LDC, while 4 others failed the Bar Course in accordance with rule 17(6) of the rules governing passing of the Bar Course, 2015 and 6 others have been discontinued from the course. However, they may apply to repeat the Bar Course subject to fulfilling Law Council pre-entry requirements.
According to the Mary Nakigozi, the Acting Academic registrar, candidates who have passed the course should make clearance for graduation before 20th June, 2019 ahead of graduation day on June 21st.
“Any candidate dissatisfied with the Board’s decision may appeal to the Appeals Committee as provided under rule 28 of the rules for passing the Bar Course. Such appeals shall be addressed to the Secretary Appeals Committee and submitted by not later than 10th June, 2019 at 5.00p.m. Please attach evidence of payment for the appeal,” Nakigozi said in her statement.
Nakigozi adds that candidates who have been discontinued from the course should collect their letters of discontinuation on 5th June, 2019, while candidates required to repeat failed subjects should collect their letters on 5th June, 2019.