Uganda slaps media ban on lawyers

The Law Society of Uganda is to call an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) in response to widespread concern among the legal profession after the country’s Law Council issued a statement imposing a media gag on lawyers.

On 23 August, the Law Council issued a statement expressing its intent to enforce one of its 1977 Advocates Regulations, which denies lawyers the right to make any kind of comment to the media.

A number of bodies, including the Law Society of England and Wales and the International Commission of Jurists, have expressed their concern at the situation.

In a letter to Ugandan Law Council chairman Justice Solome Bossa, UK Law Society president Peter Williamson said: “Our concern is that the enforcement of this regulation would deny lawyers their right to freedom of expression.”

However, one source said that the statement had been issued not to deny lawyers this right, but to stop lawyers advertising their services in the media – a practice that is currently banned in Uganda.

The Law Society of Uganda is understood to be looking for some resolution to the problem at the EGM.