Lawyers should protect image of courts, says Deputy Chief Justice Buteera

Tuesday February 23 2021
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Nkumba University associate professor Mr Francis Bwengye (2nd) hands a copy of his book to Deputy Chief Justice Richrad Buteera in the presence of wife Ms Anny Bwengye and Mr Mohmed Ssemakula. PHOTO/PAUL ADUDE.

By Paul Adude

Deputy Chief Justice Richard Buteera has said lawyers need to build trust with their clients in order to protect the reputation and image of the legal system.

“Majority of litigants in our practice are not educated, many are poor. They do not understand our legal system nor do they trust the lawyers or the system, trust has to be built by explanation and education of these clients,” he said.

Justice Buteera made the remarks while launching a book titled “The legal practice in Uganda: The law, Training, Practice and conduct of Advocates,” written by lawyer Prof. Francis Bwengye in Kampala.

“The reputation of an advocate and in fact the reputation of the legal profession depends on how a client is handled. The starting point is for the advocate to understand his client, the relationship between the advocate and client is two-fold. This relationship is both contractual and fiduciary,” he said.

Justice Buteera said the publication of the book will enrich readers and consumers with knowledge, skill and expertise on the legal system.

“It will not only benefit the current generation but many more generations to come. The book is constituted of eight chapters with topics which are all relevant for the legal practitioners but I also find that they would be interesting to non-lawyers who often have to engage legal practitioners to handle matters on their behalf or work with them in different activities,” he said.

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Nkumba University associate professor Mr Francis Bwengye- who authored the book said there is need for higher standards of competence, integrity and conduct of advocates.

“The book has explored most of the gaps in the legal practice and training in Uganda from the attitude of our advocates which have to change. There are so many advocates graduating, if you don’t have good conduct, you will not have clients,” he said.

Mr Bwengye said the book teaches advocates to respect courts of law by keeping their obligations to the courts, clients and themselves.

“There are challenges in legal practice. We have had lawyers being sent to Luzira prison for stealing clients’ money. There are some people who have unqualified at LDC who open chambers and start practicing. Those are things we are trying to educate,” he said.

Retired court of appeal judge Remmy kasule said there is need for legal academia to practically contribute to the respective branches of the law away from just within the schools of law.

“Legal academia should stop being theoretical with lecturers giving knowledge to those studying law but come out and make the laws, be critical reflecting on what is happening in our society,” he urged.

Mr kasule said there is need to rely on local publications in a work place which is in the local content than using foreign publications.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.co

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