About JCU

About JCU (17)

Published in: About JCU

 

This is Part 2 of our Media Road Trip series that documents highlights of a visit to various Justice Centres Uganda service points and locations across the country by journalists from various media houses in April 2016.

 

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At the Tororo Justice Centre, the media team participated in the “While-You-Wait” Programme which takes place every month. The “While-You-Wait” Program is organized by JCU to provide clients with basic information to the public about services offered by Justice Centres Uganda.  This nearly 2-3 hour activity is facilitated by JCU staff and from our observation was conducted in various languages (English and local dialects) to enable proper communication.

 

During this activity, the media had opportunities to interact with participants, JCU staff and officials of the Chief Magistrates court (located nearby). As was the case in Masaka, those we interacted with at Tororo Justice Centre cited land matters as the biggest issue that leads them to JCU to seek for legal services. However, many expressed support and goodwill toward JCU.

 

Of particular interest during our visit to Tororo Justice Centre was a curious case of a young school -going girl at the court who the media interviewed. She had come to court on a matter of child neglect that was before the Chief Magistrates Court. Her case was brought to the attention of Tororo Justice Centre staff for follow up. A few days later, it was reported in the media that an agreement had been reached between the parent and the court to provide fees for this young girl.

 

Later on in the afternoon, we visited Rubongi SSS for a school outreach programme facilitated by Justice Centres Uganda in the company of the Manager Tororo Justice Centre – Ms. Anna Rita Asiimwe and the Justice for Children Coordinator (Eastern Uganda).

 

The outreach sessions are an opportunity to sensitize students (majority of whom are juveniles) about issues of human rights and pass on essential life skills.

 

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Published in: About JCU

Masaka Service Centre is located at the Masaka High Court on the outskirts of Masaka town, central Uganda. At Masaka Service Point, the Manager, Mr. Timothy Mugumya, welcomed the media team.  There was an opportunity to interact with various JCU staff and clients who were waiting to be served.

Masaka High Court is typically a busy court with litigants from far and near. At the legal aid service point, men and women waited their turn to be served by JCU staff. From interactions with clients, it was revealed that the majority of cases relate to land matters. Mr. Mugumya informed the media team that JCU had devised creative mechanisms in resolving land (and other) disputes through mediation, which had proven to have a high success rate. 

All the clients interviewed by the media team reported high levels of confidence and trust in Justice Centres Uganda. They appealed to government to increase the reach of these service points to villages since many may not be able to afford transport to town (to report cases to the Masaka service point).

During the visit, we also interacted with the coordinator of Justice for Children (J4C) programme whose office is located at Masaka High Court. She praised the good coordination and collaboration that exists between JCU and J4C especially in providing legal representation to vulnerable children who are found to be in conflict with the law. 

During a meeting with resident the High court judge at Masaka High Court, Hon. Justice Eudes Keitirima, the media team had a opportunity to interact with him on issues of justice and the rule of law. Justice Keitirima said the value added to the court by Justice Centres is immense due to its contribution in decongesting the court system (through referals to the service point for mediation). He said that the legal aid policy once passed by Government will ensure this value addition is extended to every court in Uganda with the potential to positively and fundamentally change the access to justice landscape.

On his part, Chief Magistrate at Masaka Chief Magistrates Court lauded Justice Centres for ensuring the smooth slow and court processes. He was referring to the fact that Justice Centres lawyers are always on hand to represent those without counsel in court thereby speeding up the process and avoiding delays.

Later on in the day, the media team visited Ssaza Government prison facility about 5 km from Masaka town where we were welcomed by the Prison-In-Charge. At the prison facility, the media team was in the company of officials from Masaka Justice Service Point and the Paralegal Services. During the visit, the team interacted with inmates who had an opportunity to air their views and concerns on issues. 

During the visit, we found that many of the inmates were on remand and there was a significant number who claimed to have no legal representation. Officials from Masaka JCU Service Point and and paralegal services pledged to identify those in need of lawyers and arrange representation after assessments are done in cooperation with the prison authorities.

 

By This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  | Published: June 5, 2016

 

 

Published in: About JCU

 

Name of Staff

Position

Work Station

Birabwa-Nsubuga Christine

National Coordinator

National Coordination Office

Odota Denis Ogenrwoth

Manager Programmes

National Coordination Office

Fred Kahwa

Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist

National Coordination Office

Nalwooga A. Mudangi

Human Resource Officer

National Coordination Office

Onimo Joshua

Finance & Admin Officer

National Coordination Office

Mwanje Angela

Personal Assistant / Advocacy Officer

National Coordination Office

Isingoma Robert

Office Assistant

National Coordination Office

Samson Sagula

Driver 

National Coordination Office

 

 

 

Mwayi Andrew

Centre Manager

Mmengo

Ayebale Gorreth

Legal Officer

Mmengo

Nankya Annet
Legal Assistant Mmengo

Kulabako Ruth

Legal Assistant

Mmengo

Agaba Nelson

Finance & Admin Assistant

Mmengo

Okecho Valentine

Paralegal Officer

Mmengo

Akullo Brenda Odongo

Paralegal Officer

Mmengo

Namatobu Deborah

Legal Volunteer

Mmengo

Nankya Mariam

Legal Volunteer

Mmengo

Kakooza William

Office Attendant

Mmengo

 

 

 

Tiyo Jonathan

Centre  Manager

Hoima

Henry Kirya

Legal Officer

Hoima

Ayebare Clare

Legal Assistant

Hoima

Koburunga Patience

Legal Assistant

Hoima

Buhanga Robert

Paralegal Officer 

Hoima

Chwala Cecilia

Paralegal Officer 

Hoima

Kyokwijuka Sandra

Legal Volunteer

Hoima

Phoebe Tumwebaze

Legal Volunteer

Hoima

Robert Mayanja Joshua Driver
Hoima
Ategeka Jason Office Attendant Hoima
     

Kumaketch Victor Max

Centre Manager

Lira

Atala Lillian Winny

Legal Officer

Lira

Abilu Isaac Boniface

Legal Assistant

Lira

Nyevu Aziiza

Legal Assistant

Lira

Etol Boniface

Paralegal Officer

Lira

Ochen Charles Okodi

Paralegal Officer

Lira

Juliet Kanyange

Legal Volunteer

Lira

Anyinge Jacqueline

Legal Volunteer

Lira

Ekwang Bruno

Driver

Lira

Adong Victoria

Office Attendant

Lira

 

 

 

Asiimwe Anna Rita

Centre Manager

Tororo

Ojulong Emmanuel

Legal Officer

Tororo

Nabbosa Caroline

Legal Assistant

Tororo

Orishaba Isabella

Legal Assistant

Tororo

Bonny Ejolo

Paralegal Officer

Tororo

Charles Onimo

Paralegal Officer

Tororo

Ivan Buwaya

Legal Volunteer

Tororo

Bukosera Lydia

Office Attendant

Tororo

Teddy Kobusinge

Legal Volunteer

Tororo

Mugoya David

Driver

Tororo

 

 

 

Adikin Esther

Senior Legal Officer

Jinja

Kalule Emmanuel

Legal  Assistant

Jinja

 

 

 

Regina Babukiika

Legal Officer

Masaka

Namata Edith

Legal Volunteer

Masaka

 

 

 

Published in: About JCU

 

The right to legal aid is well entrenched in the International and Regional human rights treaty framework to most of which Uganda is a state party. The provision of legal aid to the indigent has emerged as a dominant intervention in enhancing access to justice for the poor. Legal aid services address the concerns of the poor and vulnerable by focusing on challenges arising from: affordability of user costs, lack of legal representation, and alienation due to technicalities, language and ignorance of legal rights.

Legal aid has the potential not only to enable these vulnerable groups resolve their disputes at the family and community level, but to enhance awareness of legal and human rights, empower them to claim their rights and advocate for social, policy and legal change at community and national level.

While legal aid interventions may not in principle transform the poverty situation of the recipients of services, they greatly contribute to the empowerment of individuals and communities – a key ingredient of poverty reduction efforts.

Published in: About JCU

LAND FAQs


Q: What if a man dies intestate (without leaving a will) while he fathered illegitimate children. How is the estate distributed?
A: The first thing to know is that under Succession Act, a child includes the illegitimate child. Therefore they are entitled. The Succession Act provides for how the estate of the deceased should be distributed. Therefore you will need to get letters of Administration and the Administrator General will advise on how to distribute the estate. 


Q: Can a wife sign on a land sale agreement when her name is not on the title?
A: Yes, she can. A wife has to give consent to any sale of matrimonial land.



Q: What remedies does an administrator of an estate have where a co-administrator uses the property of the estate for her own benefit?   
A: The co-administrator is answerable to the extent of any property of the deceased that comes to his/her hands and is required to give an account of the estate and refund any monies illegally derived there from.



Q: What do I do when my spouse sells our land without my consent?
A: The person who buys that land and your husband can both be sued for infringing provisions of the land Act.

 
Q: What remedies does one have where property is sold contrary to the testator’s wishes in a will?
A: Any act contrary to the provisions of the Will amounts to intermeddling with the property of the deceased and is actionable in courts of law.  If a beneficiary dies living behind a family, his/her family members are beneficiaries to his/her share in an estate. But if they die without leaving any family, then the property is shared among the surviving beneficiaries.

 

FAMILY FAQs



Q: How do we collect evidence of domestic violence?
A: Evidence could be through your testimony or that of family members. Physical injuries can be confirmed by a medical examiner.

 


Q: The Bible says, spare the rod, spoil the child. Isn’t the Anti Corporal Punishment Act bad and won’t it make our children undisciplined?
A: The Anti Corporal Punishment Act was against excess in ways of disciplining  a child. And we have seen that violence on children has only produced violent adults. Not applying corporal punishment does not mean letting your child go undisciplined. It is important to set limits to a child and communicate them clearly, consequently, but without violence. A child that is respected and shown limits will grow into a respectful youth that accepts limits and behaves accordingly.



Q: My son-in-law sent away my daughter back home with 3 children and wedded another woman. What can I do to help my daughter and her children?
A: The Children’s Act provides for maintenance of children by their capable present father. Your son-in-law is required to care for his children. JCU can help getting a maintenance order from court if mediation fails. 


Criminal

 
Q: How does JCU benefit in helping people like us prisoners?
A: This is service to humanity; our reward is when one is set free because our motto is to bring justice home. Otherwise, legal representation is a constitutional right that Uganda aspires to give its citizens, like all countries do.


Q: Do you only handle criminal offences?
A: No. We handle both criminal and civil cases.



Q: Can a JCU advocate ask for bail from a magistrate and it’s denied?
A: Yes. However, as advocates our role is to try out level best to get it even though the magistrate has the discretion. The law provides that an advocate can appeal.

 

Q: How do you get police bond for your clients?We use our JLOS partners and contacts to secure the police bond where we fail to convince the OC or where he demands for a bribe.



OTHER FAQs


Q: How does JCU determine who is poor?
A: There is a test called Means and Merit Test (MMT). This is the one JCU uses to determine whether one is too poor to afford the services for a private lawyer, and hence take him or her. Of course, on top of this, there is a strategy meeting that sits and discusses each case. It uses its discretion and other such factors as reports of locus visit.



Q: Police and lawyers in Uganda are known for their love for money. How come you JCU claim to work and represent clients at no cost or for nothing?
A: JCU services are entirely free. If anyone asks you for money, please complain with the National Coordinator at +256 414 256626.



Q: It is true that all your legal services are free of charge?
A: Yes, that is a fact. All our services are free of charge.



Q: What happens where a litigant dies while the case is still ongoing?   
A: The death of a plaintiff or defendant does not cause the suit to abate if the cause of action survives or continues. Where a sole plaintiff/ defendant dies, an application must be made to Court by the deceased’s legal representative to be made a party to the suit. Where no application is made, the suit abates.

Published in: About JCU

JCU Success Stories

Published in: About JCU

Justice Centres Uganda was established within the Judiciary by Chief Justice Circular number one of 2010 as a project of JLOS to provide free legal services to poor, vulnerable and marginalized. JCU operates one-stop-Centres with a broad range of legal aid services to all categories of vulnerable people in the community, identified through a means and merit test. Some of these services include legal representation, mediation, referrals, awareness creation and outreach, as well as psychosocial support. JCU seeks to bridge the gap between the supply and demand sides of justice while at the same time empowering individuals and communities to claim their rights and demand for policy and social change.

JCU currently operates four Centres in Mmengo, Hoima, Lira and Tororo and two Service Points in Jinja and Masaka.

 

Vision


Vulnerable communities accessing quality legal aid services and realizing their rights

 

Mission


To empower vulnerable communities through provision of quality human rights based legal aid services, community outreach and advocacy.

 

Values


•    Professional Excellence
•    Ethics and Integrity
•    Accountability

 

Services offered


•    Legal advice
•    Court representation
•    Mediation
•    Counselling and psycho social support generally
•    Referral and follow up with other relevant institutions
•    Legal and human rights awareness creation
•    Advocacy both on and at the local level and the legal aid policy framework at the national level.
•    Toll free phone line (080 010 0210)
 

Where we are Located

Justice Centres Uganda has offices  in different parts of the country covering various districts

 

Lira Justice Centre

Amoltar, Pader, Apec, Ktigum, Oyam, Dokolo, Kaberamaido and Kotido Districts.

 

Tororo Justice Centre

Bukwa, Bududa, Manafwa, Busia, Pallisa, Butaleja, Namutamba,Bugiri, and Iganga Districts.

 

Hoima Justice Centre

Masindi, Kibaale, Kiryandongo and Buliisa Districts.

 

Mmengo Justice Centre

Kampala, Mpigi, Luweero, Burambala and Mityana Districts.

Published in: About JCU

Our objectives are:

 

  • To pilot Justice Centres as a successful Government model for comprehensive delivery of quality legal aid services in Uganda.

  • To enable vulnerable individuals and communities to effectively resolve disputes using both litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

  • To enhance awareness of human rights and empower communities to claim their rights from the appropriate duty bearers.

  • To undertake human rights centred and evidence based advocacy for reform Laws, Policies and Practices.
Published in: About JCU



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