The effects of poverty on access to justice: a case study of Kamuli district Uganda

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Kampala International University, School of Law
According to the recently accepted definition, poverty is pronounced deprivation in well-being, and comprises many dimensions. It includes low incomes and the inability to acquire the basic goods and services necessary for survival with dignity'. This study was conducted in kamuli district in eastern Uganda with the objective of assessing the effects of poverty on the access to justice of the people in this region. The study population was 50 randomly selected respondents (strictly above 18 years of age) who were enrolled in the research from the district of Kamuli. These were chosen from a list that was provided by various LCs from different villages from their case files. The data collection tools used were semi structured questionnaires, document review checklists, and observational checklists. Data analysis was done using Microsoft excel and was presented in bar graphs and pie charts. The researcher discovered that the larger percentage of respondents (61 %) thought that poverty had a negative impact on the access to justice of those under it while the rest (41 %) thought otherwise and these were mostly law practitioners. Most respondents said that this is the reason why they take the law into their own hands for example by carrying out mob justice. Despite the above, the district CEO reported that they are striving to put in place an even stronger system of the law which will be incorruptible, so that there is unquestionable equality in accessing justice. The researcher recommended that the people of Kamuli district should air out their complaints to greater authorities if they think that they are being cheated by their district level judiciary, rather than take matters into their own hands. Also the government of Uganda should increase the effort to fight corruption staring from the bottom levels of governance.
A Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Award of a Bachelor Degree of Laws, of Kampala International University
Poverty, Justice, Kamuli district, Uganda