City lawyers Nelson Walusimbi and Andrew Wambi have petitioned court, challenging Uganda Law Society’s arbitration and mediation centre, because it is a privately-owned company operating without the consent of the society’s members.
The lawyers sued ULS, the umbrella professional body of lawyers in the country with International Centre for Arbitration and Mediation in Kampala (ICAMEK), which is a limited liability company.
ICAMEK was incorporated by the Uganda Registration of Services Bureau on July 26, 2018 with ULS and Uganda Bankers’ Association as subscribers.
The complainants are seeking court declaration that ULS acted outside its statutory mandate and hence acted illegally by subscribing to ICAMEK.
The lawyers allege that by subscribing as a member to ICAMEK, ULS is modifying its statutory mandate to circumvent the limits imposed on it by stature and to aid private profit initiatives against the general public of Uganda.
“The acts of the first defendant (ULS) amount to divestiture from itself of its role and duty to the public thereby its subscription is incompatible with the exercise of its role and its duty to the public and to the government as provided for by statute,” the petitioners said.
The complainants added that by subscribing to ICAMEK, ULS committed its members to shouldering of liability against the express restrictions of its mother stature.
They want court to declare that ULS and ICAMEK’s agenda of setting up an alternative dispute resolution judicial practice and administration that is parallel to the one established by the government through statutes for public utility and satisfaction is illegal.
“A declaration that the administration and dispensation of justice is, by virtue of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, a preserve of the government and therefore a private entity such as the second defendant (ICAMEK) is prohibited by law from setting up a parallel and competing system of justice and judicial administration from that which is endangered by the state,” the plaintiffs stated.
The plaintiffs on top of allegations that ULS’s subscription to ICAMEK is illegal on top of the use of its seal in any of the activities of the company to which it is not bound by any incidental transactions or deeds.
The lawyers insist the leadership of ULS should take members seriously and act for the common good.