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Counting cost of failing LDC's bar course exams

Some 152 lawyers, who failed final and later supplementary (retake) exams, have only four months to express interest in resuming their studies at Law Development Centre (LDC).

According to results released by the LDC examinations board last week, all the affected lawyers are postgraduate bar course students from the 2015/16 academic year. Out of the 677 lawyers that will participate in the 44th graduation on April 21 from various courses, at least 215 lawyers qualified for the award of a diploma in legal practice.

In an interview, Everest Turyahikayo, the LDC academic registrar, said students who will have expressed interest are supposed to repeat all the subjects they failed for the entire 11-month academic year.

“The students will also be required to pay some fees in accordance [with] how the subjects are grouped,” Turyahikayo said.

LDC academic registrar Everest Turyahikayo

For instance, students repeating subjects under group A like Criminal Proceedings, Corporate and Commercial Practice, Family Law Practice, Civil Litigation, and Land Transactions will pay Shs 1m per subject for the entire academic year.

Group B subjects that include Tax Practice and Trial Advocacy and group C and D elective subjects that comprise, among others, Corporate Governance and International Commercial Transactions – all attract a fee of Shs 500,000 per subject.

In addition, each student repeating a subject(s) pays application fees of Shs 50,000 and Shs 20,000 as alumni fees. Once a student, among the 152 lawyers, studies and passes the entire academic year, they will later be prepared to graduate.

“But if one fails, they have one last chance to repeat the subjects and pay the fees all over again per subject. If you sit and fail again, you are now discontinued and may apply to repeat the entire course,” Turyahikayo said.

At this level, the student applies to the law council to be subjected to pre-entry exams and come back to LDC as a fresh student once they pass. According to a graduands’ lists pinned on the LDC notice board and signed by Turyahikayo, any of the 152 students who is dissatisfied with the board’s decision may appeal to the Appeals Committee as provided for under rule 30 (1) of the rules governing passing the bar course.

“Such appeals shall be addressed to the secretary of the appeals committee by April 25, 2017 at 5pm. The appeals should be submitted with proof of payment of a prescribed fee,” reads the notice.

The appeals committee is scheduled to meet on April, 13, 2017 to hear appeals already submitted.

Last year, about 100 students in the 2014/15 academic year, who failed supplementary exams, petitioned LDC to allow them repeat some subjects. The management committee granted those wishes and they are preparing to sit fresh exams.

nangonzi@observer.ug

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