Legal Aid in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Which Way for Public Interest Advocacy?
6 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2021
Date Written: June 14, 2021
More people than ever need legal aid services. But the corona pandemic has hit legal aid funding severely. On 11th March, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease outbreak a global pandemic.
The government measures to the COVID-19 such as the travel bans and suspension of court and legal activities will potentially result in decline of access to justice for the indigent and worsen the Rule of Law in Uganda. Uganda’s ranking on Rule of Law is declining with the minimal nongovernmental checks and the low access to justice for the indigent. Therefore, Legal aid in the COVID-19 pandemic needs to be revisited. Belatedly, lawyers were classified as “essential services” during the pandemic. There is concern that legal aid may die out and access to justice for the indigent will become problematic during the acute lockdowns among other Government control measures. This article provides insights into other nongovernmental checks for public interest advocacy to promote Rule of Law during pandemics in the face of declining legal aid.
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