The ULS Council paid a visit on 15th September 2016 to one of our distinguished members Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, Speaker of Parliament to update her on the ongoing activities of ULS and the need for deeper engagement between the two institutions
The winners at the ULS 2016 Female Lawyers Awards cut the cake with the chief guest the Hon. Principal Judge Hon. Yorokamu Bamwine at the Female Lawyers Awards on 29th September 2016 at the Kampala Serena Hotel
The UCC Executive Director, Mr. Godfrey Mutabazi and Uganda Law Society President Mr. Francis Gimara sign a Memorandum of Understanding between ULS and UCC on 14th September 2016 at the UCC head office.
The ULS Council launched the Rule of Law Advisory Panel on Tuesday 4th October 2016 at the Sheraton Hotel in Kampala. The Chairman of the Panel, Prof. Frederick Ssempebwa, is seen here standing next to the ULS President, Mr. Francis Gimara
The Society has had unique opportunities to successfully engage in a multitude of activities in a bid to achieve its mandate to excel as a professional body in development of the Legal. profession and the promotion respect of Human Rights, the Rule of Law and Access to Justice. As your Executive Council, we came into office and promised to embark upon three issues; to enhance the respect/brand of ULS as a defender of the rule of law and constitutionalism, build a harmonious and inclusive society by strengthening the bridge between senior and young lawyers; strengthen the ULS Leadership structures, secretariat and regional offices to create an efficient and admired organization. As we embark to ensure that the above is achieved we have engaged in the following;
TASK 1: To enhance the respect/brand of ULS as a defender of the Rule of Law and constitutionalism. The Rule of Law and Access to justice project has been set up and a Rule of Law Officer has been recruited to keep watch of all the Rule of Law issues in Uganda. The Rule of Law Advisory committee has been appointed. The council conducted visits to the Rule of Law Key actors who include DPP, IGP, CGP, CJ, PJ, DCJ, AG, MoJ, JLOS to discuss pertinent issues surrounding the rule of law. The council has also continuously promoted and enhanced the visibility of ULS in the public.
TASK 2: To build a harmonious and inclusive pro-society by strengthening the bridge between the senior lawyers and the young lawyers The council has created more socialization through media platforms. Our Social media platforms are more active now. We frequently update the membership regarding what is going on at their Secretariat through the ULS facebook, twitter accounts.
TASK 3: To strengthen ULS to enable it serve its mandate The council created a knowledge base; it has established ULS as a place of collection of all judgments and sharing the same. CLE training programs have been refreshed. The Council on behalf of the Uganda Law Society has signed Memorandums of Understanding with; DFCU Bank for the Provision of training services to DFCU’s Women in Business- WIB and Uganda Revenue Authority to partner in Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Trainings for Lawyers and Tax advice through clinics in a bid to partner together to revamp the CLE training programs. The staff welfare and motivation has been prioritized so that the staff are better placed to serve the membership.
MEMBER ENGAGEMENT & WELFARE Additionally, the Council has launched ULS Clusters according to their interest and expertise in a bid to ensure that the ULS becomes more competitive by learning from each other and also to enable ULS to contribute more effectively in the development of law in particular areas. The Council negotiated benefits for its membership such as, fuel from all Shell stations at a discounted rate of UGX 60 per litre off pump price, IAA Health Insurance, Qatar Airways Discount and Discounted Gym membership. I hope many of us have taken advantage of the above benefits if not kindly visit the Secretariat on how to enjoy the benefits.
BUILDING THE BRAND The Council also contracted a Public Relations team called BRANDSMADETOLAST to manage the ULS social media platforms so as to build a digital foot print for Uganda Law Society, to develop disruptive marketing tools to be used on all creative platforms, to provide strategic marketing on Facebook | Twitter etc ,to re–brand/revamp Uganda Law Society online look and feel, to provide creative advisory and direction, to develop a realistic online communications strategy, to build a responsive website for Uganda Law Society, to provide event coverage and mentions on Social Media and to promote the Brand Reputation of Uganda Law Society.
NEW AFFILIATIONS Furthermore the Council is committed to continue the policy of engaging the key stakeholders on our issues to ensure that the challenges affecting our practice are addressed. Recently the council was able to reach an agreement with the National Social Security to suspend the requirement for payment of fees for the issuance of clearance certificates, the Council also engaged with the Minister of Lands, Housing & Urban Development regarding practice and conveyancing challenges encountered by the legal profession at the Ministry/Registries, and the Council also has in partnership with the Parliamentary Watch to ensure that no bill is passed in parliament without input from the ULS members.
WAY FORWARD What is majorly pending now is to ensure that the Council continues to engage with the Law Council to follow up on the passing of the Draft Remuneration Rules that have been pending for a long time. I had the opportunity to attend the International Bar Association Conference from 17th September to 23rd September 2016 and managed to interact and interface with some of the best legal professionals in the world. The Conference was attended by over 6000 lawyers at Washington DC and I also did attend the IBA Council meeting where I was able to engage with the outgoing IBA President David Rivkin on some of his ideas on how to combat Judicial Corruption. We have also learnt some great lessons on how to refresh our conferences and CLEs. This period we will focus on building strategic alliances with like-minded bodies.