Only 9% of students studying to become advocates passed exams for the 2019/2020 academic year in Uganda, prompting calls to scrap the bar course. 1474 students wrote the exam but only 145 passed. It is not the first that the relevance of the bar course and the competence of the Law Development Centre (LDC), the sole provider of the postgraduate diploma in legal practice have been questioned. Ugandan law requires those who graduate with a degree in law to enroll for an 8-month training at the LDC if they wish to work as advocates. A lawyer cannot practice as an advocate of the High Court in Uganda without the diploma. Uganda has more than 10 universities accredited to teach law and churn out hundreds of graduates every year. But only a tiny fraction of those end up at the centre due to equally restrictive pre-entry examinations. An even smaller portion manages to graduate. The pre-entry tests have since been scrapped. Uganda’s parliament has in the past rejected calls to liberalize the teaching of the bar course.
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