Various studies have shown that there is a high prevalence of justice needs in Uganda. For instance, the HiiL Justice needs study in 2016 indicated that about 90% of Ugandans experienced one or more serious justice need(s) that were severe and difficult to resolve… Continue reading below
Further studies have also shown that more than one million serious family justice problems occur in Uganda every year (ibid).
This occurs in a country where about 84% of the population in Uganda do not have adequate access to lawyers (LEAP 2012), with 79.9% of the households are more than 10km away from the GI Court (National Service Delivery Survey 2016).
In addition to this, the case backlog in the formal justice system remains extremely high with about 155,400 cases unresolved and of which over 1000 had been in system for more than 10 years (Case backlog Reduction Committee Report, 2017).
Most recently, there have also been reports of corruption and impunity by judicial officials with an average 59% paying bribes in order to get justice (Annual Report on Corruption Trends in Uganda 2015).
The situation is even worse in the rural communities exacerbated by low legal literacy levels, mistrust of the law and fear among the rural population, costs involved, language barriers and unfamiliarity with the formal procedures and court atmosphere among others.
In furtherance, 85% of Lawyers are concentrated in Kampala (DRAFT Uganda Legal Aid Policy 2011) making it harder for rural communities to access justice services amidst Local council systems that are insufficient to address all the justice needs at community level.