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LDC expands to Mbale with fourth campus as bar course enrolment spikes

LDC staff in a group photo with delegates from Zambia, led by Supreme Court Judge Roydah Mwanakulya (Photo/Handout)

Mbale, (UG):- Uganda’s law training institution, LDC (Law Development Centre) has announced plans to establish a fourth campus in Mbale District as a relief to the burden of the increasing number of students at the three campuses of Kampala, Mbarara and Lira.

This was revealed by the Executive Director of LDC, Mr Grank Nigel Othembi during a meeting with a delegation from Zambia that had visited LDC for benchmarking on law reporting.

According to Mr Othembi, the new Mbale Campus will become operational in September this year, which will greatly relieve the burden from the existing centres

“LDC has three campuses and we are opening a fourth campus in September this year at Mbale. We are contending with numbers and it is our biggest problem because we have close to 2000 Bar Course students and actually, we had 3000 applicants last year and we admitted some of them three years in advance,” Mr Othembi said, as quoted by NewVision, a government-owned publication.

During the same meeting, Zambian Supreme Court Judge, Lady Justice Roydah Mwanakulya Chinungi Kaoma, who is also the chairperson of the Editorial Board of the Council of Law Reporting in Zambia, saluted LDC for venturing into law reporting.

Ms Kaoma revealed that the Council of Law Reporting in Zambia is in the process of delinking from the Judiciary of Zambia because of the challenges it has faced from the time the council started operating in 1967.

“We want to delink and operate as an independent statutory body because we are constituted under an Act of Parliament and that is why we are here to benchmark to learn about the successes and challenges you are facing,” Justice Kaoma said.

Justice Kaoma revealed that the other objective of their visit to LDC was to know the administrative structure, salary and funding base of LDC in carrying out law reporting.

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“We came here to know where you get the money from. We also wanted to understand how law reports are produced and the budgeting as well,” she said, adding that their operations had been curtailed because of insufficient funding.

“Our budget comes from within the judiciary. The money comes as a grant from the Ministry of Justice of Zambia. Our last law report was in 2018 and we have a serious backlog because we don’t have our own printing machine. We have been limping and we came here to know how LDC is doing it,” she noted.

“The criteria we use is not easy because we have to read all of them before making a decision. We send the judgments after they have been edited to LexisNexis in South Africa because we don’t have the equipment like you have here,” she said.

About LDC

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The LDC was established in 1970 by the Law Development Centre Act as a government-owned institution of higher learning responsible for research, law reform, publications, law reporting and community legal services.

All graduates of law from different Universities in Uganda licensed to teach law are supposed to enrol for the post-graduate diploma in legal practice known as the Bar Course at LDC to become advocates of the courts of judicature.

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