African Adjournments, Lamenting Land and Village Visits

Posted: 18 November 2014

Blog 3 from Rob Dunn

'Oh Uganda, may God uphold thee, we lay our future in thy land. United, free, for liberty, together we'll always stand'.

These are words taken from Uganda's rousing national anthem. Currently, I am undertaking an internship with Uganda Christian lawyers' Fraternity in Kampala, Uganda, an organisation supported by LCF. Unfortunately I have witnessed many situations into which these Ugandan ideals have not been realised. Through my work with the Criminal Public Defence Department, I attend various courts in Uganda to interview clients and subsequently provide legal advice on bail, dismissal of the case, or self-representation. The Ugandan Constitution limits the time any suspect can spend on remand to 6 months. In reality, this period can be up to 5 or 6 years due to the under-funded and inefficient judicial system. It is these individuals, whom are not united, free and have no liberty, that UCLF work to help.

At one court I recently attended, 45 trials were due to be heard in one court in one morning session. Attempting to advise so many clients can be overwhelming. 40 of these cases however were immediately adjourned as the prosecution had lost the file, or the witnesses had failed to turn up. The suspects, after seconds in the dock, were swiftly returned to the cells. Eventually however, the vexatious case against one of UCLF's client's was dismissed for lack of evidence. UCLF's work in the criminal sphere is truly making a difference, case by case.

The more courts that UCLF work in, the more that we can ensure the words of the Uganda's Constitution, and the ideals of its anthem, are abided by. UCLF's motto is Prov 31:9. Our God's just nature and His desire for justice are our motivation.

Please be praying for the work of UCLF in Uganda. 

Thanks! Rob