About 75 students who enrolled at the Kenya School of Law (KSL) using undergraduate qualifications from Ugandan universities could miss their bar examinations after Kenya’s Council of Legal Education (CLE) refused to register them.
The students, who have been at the KSL for the last 10 months, are due to sit for their final examinations on November 16.
However, CLE says the students did not study some law course units during their undergraduate studies, a claim many students refute. Some of the students studied from Makerere University, Uganda Christian University and Nkumba University.
Makerere School of Law’s public relations officer Harriet Musinguzi said they are aware of the matter. “Management is aware and is handling it,” Ms Musinguzi told Daily Monitor yesterday.
Some of the students told Daily Monitor early this week that they opted for KSL since they want a postgraduate qualification that would enable them work as advocates across the region. Others said they did not want to be subjected to the Uganda Law Development Centre’s pre–entry exam. However, CLE secretary Kulundu Bitonye, in an October 22 letter, told the students that the council would not give them credit for attending advocates training at the KSL.
“We regret to inform you that you have not been successful as your LLB qualification, which was obtained at Makerere University, does not meet the recognition threshold under the current law,” Prof Bitonye said.
However, students this newspaper spoke to said they studied the course units.
“Should we not sit for the bar examination, which accounts for 60 per cent of the marks, we would not be able to enrol as advocates of the High Court,” another said.
KSL director Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba, in an October 30 letter, protested CLE’s decision.
“The attempt at casting aspersions on degrees issued by universities of repute who teach subjects under different nomenclature is a dispute of legality,” Prof Lumumba’s letter read in part.
“Please do, therefore, stand advised that if the students choose to go to court, the Kenya School of Law will stand with them,” it adds.
The executive director of Uganda’s National Council of Higher Education, Prof Opuda Asibo, said Uganda’s Law Council is better placed to comment. Justice Remmy Kasule, the chairperson of Uganda’s Law Council, could not be reached on phone.