Dispensation of justice at the grassroots. A case study of the Local Council Courts in Uganda •

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Kampala International University, School of law.
The quest for justice by mankind is a very old phenomenon that has existed since time immemorial. A majority of people in Uganda have always perceived justice as meant for only those with a high social standing in society and thus far away from them. However, the NRM government from the time of its inception has always purposed at bringing Justice closer to the poor. One of the avenues justice is being dispensed at the grassroots is through local council courts, major focus of this study is put on the operation of Local council courts and how they can be improved. The study too is intended to analyze some of the traditional systems of justice dispensation in Uganda. These are drawn from and deeply rooted in culture whose impact on the implementation of laws is immense. It is important to note that Uganda as a whole is composed of different ethnic groups with different cultures. Although there are different ethnic groups comprising of the population in Uganda estimated at 37 .58 million people as per world bank report 2013, the culture of these different ethnic groups is somehow similar and this is attributed to the fact that various tribes have similar origins. For instance the Luo speaking people are basically found in the Northern and Eastern regions of Uganda whereas the rest of the three regions are composed of the Bantu speaking tribes. There are basically four regions harboring the different ethnic groups forming Uganda as a country and these are; Northern region, East, Western and Central regions. For purposes of this study and to make the research manageable for the researcher a tribe's traditional system of justice from each region shall be ventured into. For instance the Acholi tribe have a traditional system of justice dispensation referred to as "mato put' this shall be analysed on behalf of the Northern region. '~//uc"traditional system of justice dispensation among the Iteso for Eastern region shall be analyzed. "Embuga"traditional system of justice dispensation among the Buganda covering the Central region of the country, and finally Ankole will be looked at for the western part of Uganda. So, on the whole, the study will at least cover a tribe's traditional system of justice dispensation from each region forming Uganda. The researcher having ventured into the details of the traditional systems of justice dispensation and critically analyzing the operation of local council courts particularly citing the similarities of both systems as avenues of dispensing justice at the grassroots, shall seek to establish whether the traditional or local justice systems from the various ethnic groups in Uganda can he incorporated into the Local Council Courts system.
A research report submitted to the College of Law in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Award of Bachelor of Laws of Kampala International University Kampala, Uganda.
Justice, Grassroots., Local Council Courts, Uganda