EAST AFRICAN NETWORK OF UNIVERSITY LAW CLINICS (EANULAC)

Vision

Mission
A source of excellence for instilling civic responsiveness among law teachers, students and graduates and the promotion of public interest lawyering in East Africa. To instill civic responsiveness and Public Interest Lawyering among law teachers, students and graduates through clinical methods of teaching, research, legal education, public interest litigation, advocacy and networking.

  

The Network subscribes to a common set of values;

JUSTICE,  EQUITY,  PROFESSIONIALISM,  VOLUNTEERISM and SOLIDARITY

 

Objectives  

  1. To encourage and support universities in East Africa establish clinical programmes including law clinics in order to instill civic responsiveness among law graduates;
  2. To encourage and support members promote public interest lawyering through research, legal education, public interest litigation, advocacy, outreach and networking;
  3. To enhance the capacity of law teachers in East Africa in the use of clinical methods of teaching law; and
  4. To provide for forum, build support and coordination mechanism for law teachers and clinicians in East Africa

The Network Core Activities are

  1. Building and consolidating a sustainable network
  2. Capacity building
  3. Developing training materials
  4. Advocacy
  5. Research and publications
  6. Outreach
  7. Public interest litigation
  8. Legal Aid
  9. Study tours
  10. Staff and student exchanges
  11. Joint fundraising

 

Membership and Application

Membership

The Network shall be composed of University Law Faculties, Colleges, Schools, Departments, accredited to offer law programmes in East Africa and are willing to be bound and voluntarily submit to the Vision, Mission and Objectives of the Network.

Eligibility

Applicants for membership must be University based Law Faculty, College, School or Department with University-based law clinic, clinical programmes or have taken concrete steps to establishing a law clinic or clinical programmes.

Membership Application Procedure

(a) Applications for membership shall be in writing, signed by a person in authority and shall be made in such manner as the Steering Committee may determine. Applications shall be submitted to the Secretariat and considered by the Steering Committee.

(b) The Steering Committee shall consider and approve all membership applications during its meetings.

(c) The application for membership shall be accompanied all the necessary documents to assist the Steering Committee make an informed decision including the applicant’s strategic plan, documents proving legal capacity and the necessary authorizations to make the application.

 

Meetings leading up to the formation of the Network

In February 2014, the Public Interest Law Clinic (PILAC) organized a Conference on Legal Education and Public Interest Lawyering in East Africa: The Role of University Based Law Clinics.  The overall objective of the Conference was to create a forum that would for the first time bring together legal educators, clinical university lawyers and public interest law practitioners in the East African region to discuss the role of university law clinics in promoting access to justice.

The specific objectives included: To take stock of the number of university law clinics in East Africa and the activities they run; to share knowledge on how experiential and practical legal education can be used to produce law graduates with skills and the commitment to public interest lawyering; to share experiences on how university clinics can promote and support public interest litigation; to learn from comparative experiences in the running of law clinics, promoting research on access to justice, running community based law programmes, and promoting and supporting public interest litigation; to encourage universities which have not yet done so to establish law clinics and to explore ways through which these can be supported; and to explore the possibility of forming an East African Network of University Law Clinics and how this can link to existing networks.

 

The participants at the Conference included legal educators; university based clinical lawyers, and public interest law practitioners in the East African region.  In addition, participants were drawn from outside East Africa, from such jurisdictions as South Africa, India, Nigeria, Mozambique and South Sudan.  Participants from outside East Africa were made part of the Conference for the purposes of learning from their experiences.  The East African participants who participated in the Conference included Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and Kenya.

From the discussions, it was established the university law clinics and the use of clinical methods of teaching are an important tool for producing law graduates alive to the justice needs of the under-privileged and committing to addressing this. In spite of this, few university clinics have functional clinics and clinical programmes. It was therefore resolved that steps should be taken to encourage universities to establish law clinics and use clinical methods of teaching in ways which promote access to justice. One of the steps agreed on was the formation of the East African Network of University Law Clinics (EANULAC) as a forum that brings together clinicians in East Africa and is used to encourage all East African universities teaching law to establish clinics and adopt clinical methods of teaching.

On 12th November, 2015, the Public Interest Law Clinic (PILAC) hosted a meeting of East African Clinicians.  The meeting was hosted at the School of Law, Makerere University, Kampala as a follow-up to an earlier meeting of February 2014 in which it was resolved that steps should be taken to encourage universities to establish law clinics and to adopt clinical methods of teaching in ways which promote access to justice.  As a way of furthering this goal, participants agreed to the formation of the East African Network of University Law Clinics (EANULAC) as a forum that would bring them together as clinicians.  The current meeting thus sought to design a clear strategy on how to better engage, discuss the format to be taken by the network as well as the formalization process.  It is therefore the deliberations on these matters that this report highlights.

Participants

This meeting was attended by law teachers from universities within the following East African countries: Uganda (Makerere University, Uganda Christian University (UCU), Nkumba University, Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) and Kampala International University); Kenya (Moi University, Nairobi University); Tanzania (University of Dar el Salaam, Open University); Rwanda (National University, Rwanda); and Burundi (University of Burundi).  These discussed the modalities for teaching the law and promoting the use of clinical methods in this regard.  In addition, two experts presented at the meeting: Ms. Odinakaonye Lagi from the Network of University Legal Aid Institutions (NULAI), Nigeria, as well as Mr. Adrian Jjuuko of the Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF), Uganda.  These two shared their experiences with Associations and networks; the workable approaches, challenges and the precautions to be taken.  In addition, Ms Odinakaonye shared Nigeria’s experience with the use of Interactive teaching methods and CLE programs.

A brief on the East African Network of University Law Clinics (EANULAC)

In line with PILAC’s vision, mission and objectives, the Clinic embarked on a process of establishing a forum that would bring together Law teachers and Clinicians in the region. The first East African Conference on Legal Education and Public Interest Litigation under the theme: The Role of University Based Law Clinics was organised by PILAC and took place in February 2014 in Kampala. The training was facilitated by renowned Clinicians in the Region and was a great opportunity to share experiences especially from Nigeria and South Africa where this movement is advanced. This training had representation from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Nigeria and South Africa. One of the major outcomes of the Conference was an agreement that PILAC takes the lead in building the East African Network of University Law Clinics (EANULAC).  The main objective of the Network is to create a forum through which university based law clinics in the region can interact with each other, build synergies and pool resources to promote public interest lawyering in East Africa through Clinical legal education, joint research, study tours and public interest litigation among other activities.

There was a follow up meeting in November 2015 where it was agreed that concrete steps be taken to formalize the process of the establishment of the Network. A Planning Committee chaired by Ms. Ahumuza Dianah Ateenyi was selected with the specific assignment of coming up with Guiding Principles to guide the Network. These were formulated and deliberated upon by the Planning Committee, PILAC and the School of Law leadership. All comments from the mentioned stake holders have been incorporated.

                                                           

We believe that the Network agenda advances the vision and mission of the School and positions the School as a leader in legal education in East Africa. The Network is a forum through which universities in the region could share experiences and engage in exchanges.

The Public Interest Law Clinic, Makerere University hosted a meeting on the 9th day of March, 2017 involving participants from university representatives from East African countries. Representatives from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania convened in one room to deliberate on matters regarding the constitutive instrument that is intended to govern the East African Network of University Clinics. The conceptualization of the Constitutive Instrument was preceded by a number of meetings involving the various stake holders. A Planning Committee had earlier been elected during a meeting of East African Clinicians hosted by the Public Interest Law Clinic at the School of Law, Makerere University in November 2015 and tasked with the responsibility of coming up with a legal document that would govern the activities of the Network. The Planning Committee came up with a draft document which was shared and later critically analyzed and edited to incorporate the feedback that had been received by the committee from several stakeholders internally. A follow up meeting was held in Nairobi, Kenya in July 2016 wherein the committee agreed on the final draft which would later be tabled before the Makerere University School Board. It is after all comments including those from the School Board and Management Committee were incorporated in the document that a final draft was produced

 

NETWORK Coordinator: Ms Sandra Oryema

STEERING COMMITTEE

  1. Jackson Bett Chairperson of the Steering Committee
  2. Frederick Jjuuko
  3. Ignace Bankamwabo
  4. Kusenha Nicodemus Secretary of the Steering Committee
  5. Rose Marie Turamwishimiye
  6. Principal Christopher Mbazira
  7. Ex officio member Sandra Oryema