The Council Chair’s Statement At The Laying Of A Foundation Stone At School of Law
Statement By The Chairperson, Makerere University Council On The Occasion Of Laying The Foundation Stone For The New Building Of The School Of Law 6th July 2021
I am delighted to warmly welcome you all to this very special occasion when we mark a significant milestone for the School of Law by laying the foundation stone for the new building. Having started as a Department of Law under the then Faculty of Social Sciences in 1968, today we celebrate a journey of more than 50 years of commitment to legal training and research.
In August 2019 as part of my visits to all the Colleges, I visited the current premises housing the School of Law. The urgent need for a new building was glaring. Thankfully, the Council was able to find the resources to meet this need. I would like to especially thank the Government for responding to our call and availing the necessary resources for this project. Today, we are one step closer to realizing the dream of a befitting home for the School of Law. Page 2 of 3 The approved design provides the infrastructure required for the School of Law to deliver on its core functions of teaching, research, and knowledge transfer in the legal field.
There will be sufficient teaching and office space alongside other facilities, including a library and a moot courtroom for Faculty to effectively carry out their responsibilities. As we embrace the next 50 years of the School of Law, the University Council would like to engage the faculty members and students in the University’s litigation and other law related matters by offering guidance in the policymaking processes and also the administrative decisions that have legal implications.
In this way, the School will be contributing towards the development of a stronger University, which delivers better on its mandate under the Constitution, the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act, and the National Development Plan 3. At the national level, the teaching and research at the School of Law must continue to contribute to the development and practice of the rule of law in Uganda. The rule of law is a precondition for social order, the absence of which means that anarchy or violence predominates society. Development of any kind is heavily curtailed for as long as violence and social order pervades society.
The rule of law, therefore, is the glue that holds society together in peace, amidst diverse interests and worldviews, thereby providing an enabling environment for national development. The output of your work contributes greatly to the NDP 3 goal of Human Capital Development and in so doing bolsters the other NDP 3 areas such as industrialization, mineral resources, private sector development, and innovation, to mention but only a few. Universities have been challenged to become centers of innovation to solve some of the challenges we face such as disease outbreaks or the need to produce essential goods and services locally. We are starting to see outcomes in this regard.
At Makerere, we have the Kira Ev vehicle, the Banana Industrial Development, COVID-19 testing kits and the Tick Vaccine, among others. A researcher at Mbarara University developed COVIDEX, which is now approved as a supportive treatment in the management of COVID-19. However, intellectual property rights or patent, is an area that needs a lot more attention. We need to find a way to protect and reward individual innovation and enterprise within publically funded research while providing the right incentives for researchers and innovators? This is an area where your expertise and guidance is needed to secure our products and generate the wealth espoused in the national development plan.
Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, I lay this foundation stone not just to raise a building for the School of Law but to commission a new dispensation of the increased training and nurturing of young men and women who love their nation and will not only defend it but also address the aspirations of Ugandans embodied in Uganda’s National Development Plan 3 and the many more development plans yet to come.
Thank you for being a part of this momentous occasion and thank you for building for the future.