The Law Development Centre ‘LDC’ and Law Council have been dragged to court for denying a man entry to the bar course required by legal practitioners before enrolling as advocates in Uganda.
Daniel Adyera, 30, says he has had enough of the excuses given by LDC and the Law Council for denying him admission and now wants court to intervene in what he cites as unfair treatment by the institutions.
In summons issued on 6 December 2021, the High Court directed Law Development Centre and the Law Council through the Attorney General to respond to Mr. Adyera’s application for judicial review of their policy to deny the 2014 LLB graduate of the University of London bar course admission since 2019 on the ground that he obtained his undergraduate law degree (LLB) through long-distance learning.
The case hearing has been slated for 10 February 2022 by Justice Musa Ssekaana, the head of the civil division of the High Court of Uganda.
Mr. Adyera, who also holds a Bachelor of Industrial and Organisational Psychology of Makerere University (2014) and a Master of Laws in Forensics, Criminology, and Law from Maastricht University, The Netherlands (2017), argues that the bias against law degrees obtained abroad and through long-distance learning is not backed by law.
He also argues that this policy is “unjustifiable, unreasonable and irrational” because the Uganda National Council for Higher Education recently cleared the Law Development Centre and law-teaching universities in Uganda to conduct their academic programmes by long-distance learning through its Open, Distance and e-Learning (ODeL) model, to mitigate the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Adyera also seeks an order that the two institutions pay him “general, aggravated and punitive damages as the court may deem fit” for having caused him “to suffer humiliation and the indignity of frustrations, anxiety, dizzying futile follow-ups with the respondents, psychological and emotional distress, as well as great financial loss or impoverishment through continued exclusion from practising his chosen career for an indefinite period.”
“It may profit you to consider the merits of the applicant’s case and allow him to enroll for 2021/2022 Bar Course (2nd Intake) whose deadline is 31 December 2021 without the necessity of a hearing before the trial judge,” said Mr. Adyera’s lawyer, Isaac Ssemakadde of Centre for Legal Aid, in a letter received by the secretary of the Law Council and director of Law Development Centre on 7th and 8th December 2021 respectively.