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The Public Interest Law Clinic held the first PILAC alumni dinner to mark the completion of the first session of the PILAC CLE and CLAPMOC programmes this was held on 24th May 2013 at Theatre La Bonita,The event was marked with the adoption of the first PILAC alumni constitution as well as election and inauguration of the first PILAC alumni committee among other things.
The event was graced by several personalities inclusive of which were; His Worship Ochepa Arutu the guest of honour, Mrs. Damalie Naggita Musoke the dean of Law, Prof.Mbazira the co-ordinator PILAC,PILAC staff, School of Law staff,Representatives from PILAC partners,volunteer advocates,and PILAC students.
In sharing his insights, his Worship Ochepa Arutu pointed out that PILAC was playing a pivotal role in representing the university through programs which aim to reach out to people at the grass roots and guiding them in ways which may help them to seek lawful remedies, he emphasized this saying it was crucial in facilitation of access to justice.
He vowed that the judiciary will build synergy with PILAC as away of promoting access to justice and pledged that the judiciary will stand with PILAC and also support PILAC.
To the alumni committee elect he stressed that they should not take their positions as positions of self importance but use them as positions to serve others.
In her speech the Dean of Law Dr. Damalie Naggita Musoke applauded the efforts of PILAC which have greatly instituted reforms to the mode of study at the School of Law in a way that students learning has be transformed from the theoretical to a more hands on experiential learning.
She pointed out the a fact that students move to the community to sensitize them was of paramount significance to the society.
She highlighted that due to PILAC's mode of teaching the School at large aims to review its curriculum so that students can get more engaged practically and finally pledged support for PILAC intiatives.
The co-ordinator of PILAC Prof. Christopher Mbazira, welcomed all of the distinguished guests among which was the guest of honor his worship Ochepa Arutu, the Dean school of Law,fellow members of staff, PILAC partners present,advocates,students present and friends of PILAC for making it to the auspicious occasion.
He commended them for all their efforts towards supporting PILAC initiatives which have steered PILAC to greater heights in such a short time. Among the achievements made by PILAC in a duration of one year since its inception are;Sensitizing the community of their human rights through public lectures and also through community outreaches to the grass root in isolated areas i,e Kivulu,Kikoni,Kikubamutwe,bridging the gap between the literate and the illiterate who are usually victims of human rights abuse,outreaches to schools,students have also been exposed to a more hands on approach on how to draft laws and identifying loopholes in some of the bills drafted by parliament,students have also been given opportunities to work with human rights activists in Uganda who mentor them during internships in different parts of the country.
PILAC advisor, Ms. Nicole Zarifis extended her appreciation to the fulbright scholarship which enabled her to come work with PILAC, she also was grateful for the staff and students community and made mention that her experience at the clinic has been very transforming. She commended the innovativeness of the students who have formed a PILAC alumni association, and finally pledged her support.
On behalf of the students Godiva Akullo one of the pioneer students who was the M.C of the day alongside Arnold Kwesiga appreciated the personal feel she got from PILAC where a student gets to interact face to face with professors,lectures and experts from various fields world wide which wouldn't have been possible without the help of PILAC.
Prof. Mbazira also presided over the award giving ceremony where 12 volunteer advocates, CLAPMOC and CLE students,partners, Prof.Oloka Onyango a PILAC advisor and Mrs. Esther Bukenya secretary PILAC were congratulated for their dedication,and noble contribution which have enabled PILAC to achieve these milestones.