Legal Aid and Empowerment

Limited access to legal aid makes justice inaccessible. As of 2016, the proportion of magisterial areas accessing state funded legal aid services was only 26% (JLOS, 2018). Currently state provided legal aid is only guaranteed for criminal matters. Justice Centers— which should offer legal aid including for civil matters— are few and far between. They are only located at magistrate courts and one High Court and they are not everywhere. Only 18.2% of the people in rural areas have access to a Magistrate Court within a distance of less than 5km and residents often have to travel long distances to get to the courts where the Justice Centers are housed. Non-state actors that offer legal aid, to supplement government efforts, are not everywhere, particularly in rural and hard to reach communities. Even where they exist, they focus more on civil and political violations. Women and girls continue to be the most marginalized with limited access to legal service. Centre for Women Justice – Uganda (CWJ-U) will be build other partners efforts to ensure that most marginalized access legal support but also build their on access to justice through legal empowerment

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