The law school of Cavendish University Uganda last week held its first biannual interfaculty moot court finals at its premises in Kamwokya.
The moot court sat as the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Kunte, a neighbor to the Republic of Uganda. It handled a three-point petition filed by a non-governmental organization against the government.
The petitioners carried the day, but the respondents did well too; there was a small margin in the marks earned by each. Dr Olive Sabiti, the dean of the law school, said such finals will take place every semester.
She said the moot courts, which are compulsory at every class level in the whole school, are aimed at equipping students with practical skills to practice law, act as teams, know court decorum and dress, write proper case reports and develop rhetorical prowess.
Moot court performance contributes to the final semester marks of Cavendish law students, she added.
Simon Peter Kinobe, the president of Uganda Law Society, as chief guest, said moot courts should not be treated as jokes because many graduates who have not had such experience have proved a disappointment when they go to the Law Development Centre for the bar course.
Kinobe urged students to learn to think outside the box and read widely and follow current precedents.
“Lecturers won’t teach you how to do that. Keep the culture of reading and follow current events wherever. As lawyers, you are custodians of knowledge, and that’s why you are referred to as ‘learned,’" Kinobe counseled.
“Build your own brand, and that starts now. I am pleased you are all smartly dressed; demeanour is crucial in law practice.You must display the ability to sell yourself as the best lawyer; otherwise, you are all taught the same syllabus by lectur- ers.You must find ways of borrowing a leaf from the books of practitioners.”
Meanwhile, Sabiti said the university is soon starting a programme for working adults above the age of 25 to enable such people learn law in a flexible manner. The programme will have three courses per term; it won’t use a semester system.