By; Charles Katabalwa
The Chief Justice Bart Katureebe has appealed to legal aid service providers to extend their services to rural areas where a number of vulnerable people cannot access their services.
Speaking at the grand opening of the Legal Aid Innovations Conference 2017 at Hotel Africana this afternoon, Katureebe quoted the recent findings that revealed that 80% of advocates in the country are based in urban areas.
A report compiled by The Hague Institute for Innovation and the Law (HiiL) on Justice Needs 2016 revealed that 88% of Ugandans experienced difficulty in accessing justice in the past four years, with land and family cases rated the top two most critical disputes.
He added that the Justice and Law Order Sector (JLOS) annual report 2014/ 2015 estimates that only 18% of Ugandans receive legal aid services annually leaving the majority, especially the poor and most vulnerable, unable to access justice.
Katureebe pointed out limited funding, shortage of legal practitioners in rural areas, lack of regulation due to absence of a legal aid policy and institution to enforce standards of service delivery as some of the challenges affecting the Legal Aid program in the country.
Justice Remy Kasule from Court of Appeal called upon all Universities that offer Law courses to set up Law Clinics through which they can directly participate in solving community problems.