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.
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.
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.
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.