On Tuesday this week, Justice Lydia Mugambe of the High Court in Kampala, delivered a ruling in which an aggrieved section of students of Law Development Centre (LDC), had sued the institution over failing supplementary exams.
In her ruling, Justice Mugambe held that as court, they cannot interfere with the mandate of the LDC or any other institution to determine who has passed or failed and therefore, cannot order LDC to release the withheld results of the affected lawyers.
“Based on the above, I am not convinced that this is a proper case for judicial review. The application is without merit and is dismissed. However, I will not sanction the applicants (lawyers) to costs to avoid any further acrimony between the two,” she ruled.
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Following the court decision, the management of LDC has since sat and come up with an action plan and way forward ahead of tomorrow's 47th graduation and also to guide the over 100 students who will miss graduating as follows;
1. The nullified 4th term examinations sat as a result of an interim order in the above case that has been declared "of no consequence" is cancelled and the withheld results expunged from the official records of LDC.
2. The applicants and "other students in their predicament" who failed some subjects at 1st sitting and also failed subsequent supplementary examinations (retakes) are at liberty to apply to LDC to repeat the failed subjects in accordance with the applicable Rules for passing the Bar Course.
3. As clearly indicated in the ruling, repeating a subject shall undertake over the course of an entire academic year.
4. The current Academic Year 2019/20 is not available for students intending to repeat subjects as it commenced in September 2020 and is close to the end of 1st term.
5. Students who intend to repeat subjects may apply to join the Bar Course in Academic Year 2020/21 or other subsequent year.
6. An application to join the Bar Course to repeat subject(s) shall be submitted through the normal application process when LDC advertises for applications. 7. Admission to the Bar Course shall be subject to the availability of space at LDC.
8. As a result of the suspension of the LDC pre-entry exam in 2019 LDC had a big influx of over 2,700 applicants. LDC could not accommodate all of them in 2019/20 and has pre-admitted 1,117 students from backlog to the Academic Year 2020/21. In 2020 LDC expects over 1,200 fresh applications for from students completing the LL.B in 2020 from the various universities accredited to teach law.
9. LDC currently has 2 campuses at Kampala and Mbarara. LDC hopes to open and operationalize its Lira campus in 2020 - admission decisions shall be premised on progress in opening of the new campus.
10. Allocation of campus shall be determined by the Admissions Board as part of the normal admission process. A student admitted to repeat a subject is expected to do so at the campus allocated by LDC.
11. Under the Rules for passing the Bar Course a student is expected to complete the course within 3 academic years inclusive of the year of enrolment.
12. Students who were admitted to the Bar Course in academic year 2017/18 should have completed the course by academic year 2019_20. Students caught up by the 3 year rule are required, prior to admission, to apply with good cause to the Board of Examiners for extension of time within which to complete the Bar Course.
13. To facilitate planning by LDC all affected students who intend to repeat subjects should register with the Secretary LDC by 31st January 2020. This is not an application to repeat subject but rather to avail LDC information that will facilitate planning.