He adds that the society is also deliberate in advocating for social justice on matters affecting Uganda's society as a whole, whenever the need arises. It is estimated that Uganda's access to justice levels are below 20 percent, due to a combination of factors, legal services affordability inclusive.
Uganda Catholic Lawyers’ Society (UCLS) has unveiled a comprehensive one-year
work plan for 2024 aimed at enhancing access to justice in the country by
introducing Pro Bono legal services. UCLS, a collective of legal practitioners
professing the Roman Catholic faith, includes advocates from private and
government sectors, as well as judicial officers across all levels.
Nicholas Ecimu, the President of UCLS, outlined the association's strategic objectives, rooted in its articles of association and governance principles. "Our strategic roadmap aligns with our organization's objectives, embedded in our articles of association and governance principles. We aim to showcase our collective legal talent," he emphasized.
Ecimu highlighted that instituting Pro Bono legal services aims
to address the justice gap caused by financial constraints. "By offering
Pro Bono services, we aim to narrow the gap, ensuring fair representation for
all," he stated.
To execute this initiative, UCLS plans to hire permanent legal
staff for its secretariat, enabling the provision of Pro Bono services through
a legal aid clinic.
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The work plan, inaugurated by Archbishop Paul Ssemogerere of
Kampala Diocese, also emphasizes the promotion of professional and ethical
standards among society members. "We were not called to be money-makers; we
have been called to be lawyers. When we serve well, money will follow. As
Catholic lawyers, being ethical is non-negotiable. We are the light and salt of
the legal profession,” he affirmed.
UCLS is committed to advocating for social justice on broader societal issues
affecting Uganda. Current estimates suggest that the country's access to
justice stands below 20 percent, partly due to financial limitations in
accessing legal services. During the work plan's launch at Archbishop Ssemogerere's
residence in Lubaga, he pledged unwavering support and active participation in
He stressed the legal fraternity's role in supporting the
church across various levels. “The church is always grateful to you for your
generosity, we have approached you not just Kampala, but all the different
levels of administration of the church starting from the sub-parishes, seeking
not only your professional help but also your assistance from your pockets,
and many of you have been giving to us generously, and we can’t take that for
granted because you are Catholics,” he said.
proactive approach underscores the society's dedication to professional
development, faith-sharing, and collaboration with other entities to
significantly impact access to justice nationwide.