Judge concerned about lawyers failing to express themselves in English

abale High Court Resident Judge, Justice Samuel Emokol

Kabale, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Kabale High Court Resident Judge Samuel Emokol has called upon Universities teaching law to consider establishing english as a course unit as lawyers struggle to express themselves in the language while making court submissions.

While speaking as the chief guest at the launch of Kabale University Faculty of Law in Kabale District, Justice Emokol said that at times, the Court Presiding Officers were compelled to wonder which universities produced some lawyers because their “submissions were “embarrassing.”

Justice Emokol suggested that university law faculties should have english as a course unit, and also suggested that all university faculties should only admit students who have passed english with at least a credit at O’Level.

“English is the language of court and there’s no way you can go around it, yet I have seen people struggling to make submissions in the language. You should ask these magistrates here. They will tell you what they are encountering down there. Sometimes it is quite embarrassing,” he said.

Justice Emokol also cautioned Kabale University Faculty of Law against graduating students who have failed the law course, either out of sympathy or fearing to scare away potential law students.

“We have heard cases in which lecturers are involuntarily made to pass students who have failed the law course because they didn’t want to look as a wastage of  school fees. Please make sure that people have earned the law degrees before you give them the degrees because they will be your ambassadors out there,” he said.

The Kabale District Resident District Commissioner Godfrey Nyakahuma asked the Kabale University Faculty of Law to invest in research and find out the solution to the problem of money lenders using the law to grab poor people’s land.

“We have been handling numerous cases in which the money lenders take advantage of the financially disadvantaged locals here, to lure them into signing for Shs. 30 million for a land sold at Shs, 2 million. Our people usually go to these money lenders to look for help in times of emergencies such as school fees and medical bills,” Nyakahuma said.

The Kabale University Vice Chancellor Prof. Joy Kwesiga said she hoped the law faculty would also inculcate values of humanity (ubuntu) into the students, such as empathy and equality.

“You know the lawyers have this common analogy that ‘the law is clear,’ but there’s also humanity. I’m not asking you to bend the law, but to be considerate while executing your duties out there,” she said.

Dr. Charlotte Kabaseke the Dean of the Law Faculty will be steering a team of six members of the teaching staff who will be handling law lectures at Kabale University.

Kabale University was established at Kikungiri Hill in Southern Division, Kabale University as a Private institution in 2002, by a section of business people and members of the academia, and later turned into a community University before it was taken over by the government as a Public University in 2015.

In the same year, Lira University and Soroti University were taken over following approval by the 9th Parliament of Uganda.

Since then, the teaching and learning space has increased from 1500 to over 5000 students as of 2024. According to Prof. Joy Kwesiga, Kabale University is only second to Makerere University in terms of human resources with up to 500 members of staff.

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