This section addresses the admissions process in

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This section addresses the admissions process in Uganda and the institutions involved in the process. As a prelude, we offer a brief historic treatment that outlines the emergence of a professional class of advocates within Uganda.
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Unauthorised Practice of Law in Uganda 163 6.2.1 History of Admission and Access to Formal Legal Practice in Uganda 6.2.1.1 Legal Practice in Pre-Colonial and Colonial Era Uganda There is no technocratic tradition of legal practice in Uganda that predates the colonial era. In many pre-colonial societies within the borders of modern-day Uganda, community members brought their disputes before chiefs and elders. These traditional leaders often emphasised reconciliation and principles of community when meting out resolutions. This brand of dispute resolution eschewed abstractions and legal technicalities. Indoctrinated legal technicians were largely superfluous in such systems. In the colonial era, European models of legal formalism encroached upon and in some instances superseded traditional African forms of dispute resolution. In Uganda, the British Empire imported a version of its own formalised system. The British legal system was officially introduced in Uganda in 1902. This system featured a dual system of courts consisting of central government courts and native courts. Professional colonial lawyers staffed the central government courts, and chiefs and elders manned the native courts. The dual court system persisted in Uganda until Uganda’s independence in 1962. Up until 1962, ethnically African advocates were for all practical purposes excluded from appearing in the central government courts. 206 Practice in government courts was limited to advocates admitted to practice in other dominions, commonwealth countries, or self-governing 206 F.A.W. Bwengye, Legal Practice in Uganda, The Law, Practice and Conduct of Advocates , Marianum Publishing Company, Kisubi, Uganda, (2002) pp. 16- 23.
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164 Legal Ethics and Professionalism. A Handbook for Uganda colonies of the British Empire. This limitation made it very difficult for indigenous Ugandans to obtain the legal training needed to practice in government courts. 6.2.1.2 Admission to Practice in Uganda after Independence In the wake of Ugandan independence, systems and paths pertaining to access to formal legal practice underwent rapid and drastic change. 1963 saw the establishment of the Faculty of Law at Dar-es-Salaam University. The law school at Dar-es-Salaam enrolled indigenous Ugandans who returned to Uganda to practice law. Accessibility for indigenous Ugandans further improved through the establishment of Makerere University’s undergraduate degree programme in law in 1968 and Ugandan Law Development Centre’s one-year post-graduate diploma in legal practice in 1970. The successful completion of studies at both Makerere and the Law Development Centre (hereinafter “LDC”) became the primary hurdles of academic qualification for Ugandans seeking to practice law in their home nation.
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