On 29 October 2018, the Law Society welcomed a delegation from Uganda at the Law Society as part of a study visit of England and Wales.
The delegation included:
President Christina Blacklaws gave the welcoming remarks and provided an outline of her presidential priorities and the main strands of her work on “Women in Law in Leadership” and “Technology and the Law”. She emphasised that the solicitor profession is a qualification that adds great professional value, highlighting that a number of Ugandan lawyers have now qualified as solicitors of England and Wales through the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme. President Blacklaws also outlined the purpose of the Law Society as the voice of solicitors, to drive excellence in the profession, and to safeguard the rule of law. She went on to explain how the Law Society acts to ensure that all solicitors are kept up to date with the changes in the modern world.
The Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Bean shared with the Ugandan delegates his experience with the Judicial Appointment Commission (JAC) including the mechanisms for appointments in the UK and the impact of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (CRA) in furthering judicial independence.
The delegation was also keen to hear about the Law Society’s work on diversity and inclusion and on the rule of law:
Jerry Garvey, from the Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Team, presented the Society’s D&I Charter, established in 2009 by the Law Society, BT, and the Society of Asian Lawyers, which is designed to help firms turn their commitment to diversity and inclusion into positive, practical action for their businesses, staff and clients. Mr Garvey explained that, as of July 2018, 490 firms and practices had signed up to the charter, representing more than a third of the legal profession in England and Wales. He also outlined the Law Society’s work on social mobility, our efforts in increasing Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) in the profession, and in creating D&I standards.
Lizzette Robleto de Howarth, from the International Team, presented the Law Society’s work on international rule of law, including the “Capacity Building” and “International Women and the Law” programmes, which generated a lot of interest among the delegation. Ms Robleto de Howarth also shared our work with the Uganda Bar Association, which included hosting Irene Kwaga of the Uganda Bar, as a Commonwealth Fellow in November 2018 as part of our Capacity Building programme – this project was funded by the Commonwealth Scholarship Fund. The project also helped to establish linkages with the Uganda.
The Law Society hopes to continue strengthening its relationship with Uganda, its legal profession, and its judiciary in order to exchange and learn from each other. The Law Society thanks the International team at Judicial Office for including us in this important exchange.