The Bachelor of Laws course is the basic academic preparation for persons who wish to enter the legal profession and other careers involving legal work. The course also has wider applicability in developing the attributes and skills inherent in general university education. Students develop the values and intellectual abilities necessary to marshal facts and to critically assess and evaluate information, theories, and doctrines thus preparing themselves for a variety of career roles.
St Augustine International University offers a Bachelor of laws programme. The programme was accredited in December 2013. The programme accreditation is, therefore, due for renewal. As a result, the school has reviewed the curriculum to enable the students develop the values and critical legal and thinking skills necessary to marshal facts, assess and evaluate the information for a variety of professional roles in the legal profession. Alongside developing a thorough grounding in the core areas of English common law, the students will gain the legal skills and academic grounding to embark on the next stage of training.
Acknowledging the Rule of Law as the core premise for societal civility and development, the program’s mission is to provide students with the most evolved education of all legal systems: Ugandan Law and legal system, Civil Law, Common Law, Islamic Law, and all branches of Law: public, private, Comparative, domestic, and International Law.
in light of Uganda’s history and the material conditions of her people, law is fundamental to the consolidation of the constitutional democratic project. Law has played a critical role in the country’s transition to democracy and remains key to entrenching and consolidating the constitutional democratic project. The interstitial manner in which law operates means that it is fundamental to the infrastructure of nation-building. Law is central to creating a cohesive and successful society, it plays a significant role in facilitating economic development and most importantly, it is pivotal to entrenching the ethos and values of the country’s constitutional democracy. “There is only one system of law. It is shaped by the Constitution which is the supreme law and all law, including the common law [and customary law], derives its force from the Constitution and is subject to constitutional control.
The rule of law and understanding of the constitution are unachievable without appropriate legal education as the foundation to foster the ideals of transformative constitutionalism. Legal education as a public good should be responsive to the needs of the economy, the legal profession, and broader society. It must produce skilled graduates who are critical thinkers and enlightened citizens with a profound understanding of the impact of the Constitution on the development of the law and advancing the course of social justice in Uganda. Moreover, the law graduate must be equipped to discharge his or her social and professional duties ethically and efficaciously. Therefore, higher education must also be responsive to globalization and the ever-evolving information-technology.
The LLB degree prepares students for entry into legal practice, into a wide range of other careers which require the application of law, and for post-graduate studies in law. The degree programme shall develop well-rounded graduates with a critical understanding of theories, concepts, principles, ethics, perspectives, methodologies and procedures of the discipline of law.
The Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree program is designed to enable students to acquire the basic academic preparation to enter the legal profession and other careers involving legal work. The programme is also designed to graduate successful jurists who emerge as professional and societal leaders in pursuit of justice; committing themselves to ethical service of clients and the public, defending Human Rights and stand out as the ultimate vanguards of proper Citizenship and the Rule of Law. Students shall develop the values and intellectual abilities necessary to marshal facts and to critically assess and evaluate information, theories, and doctrines thus preparing themselves for a variety of career roles.
The LLB degree programme aims to:
- Equip students with a sound understanding of the foundations of legal knowledge;
- Prepare students with foundations for legal practice whether as judicial officers, Advocates, Legal advisers, etc;
- Develop key skills of analysis, problem-solving, legal reasoning and argument.
- Enable students to appreciate and use legal research in solving legal problems.
- Equip students with adequate theoretical and research background to follow graduate studies in the fields of Law.
- Provide opportunities to enhance legal and personal skills through participation in mooting, negotiating and client interviewing.
- Encourage awareness of other disciplines that have an influence on the content of laws and legal developments.
- Equip students who wish to pursue further academic or vocational study with the skills and knowledge to do so.
- Install leadership and efficient management qualities in graduates.
- Integrate ethical principles and lifelong learning in future professional practice;
Programme Expected Learning Outcomes
Upon graduation from the LLB degree program, students shall be able to
- Demonstrate knowledge of the institutions and procedures of the Ugandan Legal system
- Demonstrate an understanding of domestic and international Law.
- Demonstrate an understanding of Comparative Law
- Draw upon the fundamental principles of Ugandan law to undertake an in-depth study of specialist areas of law.
- Make a comparative analysis with other jurisdictions.
- Demonstrate concepts, principles, values and rules in relation to social, political and economic realities.
- Develop art of oral argument.
- Stipulate contracts, legal consultations, legal research, judgments, and arbitration awards;
- Be aware of the context within which law operates and value the insights gained through the study of other disciplines related to law.
- Appreciate the inter-relationship between law and society.
- Identify the issues of legal relevance and apply knowledge to provide a solution supported by legal authority.
- Analyze the law, demonstrating an understanding of judicial reasoning and statutory interpretation.
- Work independently and where necessary, seeking appropriate assistance and appreciating the value of constructive criticism.
The graduate has a comprehensive and sound knowledge of the Uganda Constitution. Basic areas include:
- All principles of private and public law in Uganda;
- Aspects of international and comparative law,
- Perspectives on the legal profession; and
- the law in the context of political, economic, social and cultural developments.
The graduate is able to:
- recognise and reflect on the role and place of law in Uganda society and beyond;
- analyse a text and/or scenario to find the key issues, i.e., distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information and distinguish between legal and non-legal issues;
- address the issues presented in a text or scenario and generate appropriate responses to the legal issues contained in a text and/or scenario;
- make critical judgments on the merits of particular arguments and make and present reasoned choices between alternative solutions;
- analyse, synthesise, judge critically and evaluate problems and situations; and
- demonstrate familiarity with legal discourse – knowledge of the conventions (and terminology) of legal discourse and the ability to use them appropriately.
In theoretical and applied research-based contexts, the graduate is able to:
- find, select, organize, use, analyze, synthesize and evaluate a variety of relevant information sources;
- determine the relative authority of relevant information sources;
- identify and use primary and secondary legal sources relevant to the topic under study;
- identify contemporary debates and engage with these while accurately reflecting the law in an area.
- present and make a reasoned choice between alternative solutions;
- use techniques of legal reasoning, methodology and argumentation to reach a plausible conclusion; and
- demonstrate academic integrity in research.
It is expected that at the end of the course, the graduate,
- can act independently in planning and managing tasks with limited guidance in areas which they have studied;
- The student shall be able to identify own resources, be in a position to reflect on learning as well as seek and make use of feedback.
The graduate has knowledge of relevant ethical considerations in law and is able to conduct her/himself ethically and with integrity in her/his relations within the university and beyond, with clients, the courts, other lawyers and members of the public.
The student shall be:
- in position to engage in academic debate in a professional manner;
- able to use a range of formats, mainly written, to present specialist material.
- able to write fluent prose, using legal terminology correctly;
- able to read a range of works within and about law and to summarise their arguments accurately.
- able to demonstrate effective oral, written, listening and non-verbal communication skills; and
- apply communication skills to situations and genres relevant to professional practice;
The graduate is able to:
- access information efficiently and effectively; and
- use technology as a tool to research, organize, evaluate and communicate information.
The graduate is able to recognize, reflect and apply social justice imperative:
- acknowledging the capacity, agency and accountability of the legal practitioner in shaping and transforming the legal system, promote social justice goals of fairness, legitimacy, efficacy and equity in the legal system; and
- understand the professional responsibilities of the legal practitioner in service to the community.
The delivery of courses will be done through a combination of pedagogical methods, including:
- material delivered in the form of course materials and lectures to help students to hone their skills in organizing information;
- class discussion and tutorials to develop critical thinking and analyses of legal issues, and
- student-led seminars and group presentations based on material prepared by students in advance in order to develop presentation and interpersonal skills and the spirit of teamwork. The students are given reading lists at the beginning of each Semester. The reading lists contain the basic reference books, statutes, decided cases, learned published articles and other materials necessary for a particular course unit. The students are expected to read appropriate materials in preparation for lectures, class discussions, tests, coursework and examinations.
- Opportunities for practical work are available in Internships, Field Attachments and in Clinical Legal Education.
Attendance at lectures and class discussions is compulsory. A minimum attendance of 75% of the contact hours is a requirement to sit end of semester examinations. A student who does not attend to his or her academic obligations shall be denied a Certificate of Due Performance and shall not be subjected to course assessment.
Entry into the Bachelor of Laws is open to three categories of applicants namely:
- a) Direct Entry Scheme
For admission to the Bachelor of Laws degree program under the Direct Entry Scheme, an applicant must have:
- The Uganda Certificate of Education.
- The Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education with at least two principal passes in any of the subjects done at A- Level School obtained at the same sitting.
- b) Diploma Holders Entry Scheme;
An applicant must have at least a Second Class Diploma from a recognized Institution. Degree holders may also apply under this scheme.
The duration of the programme is four (4) academic years divided into eight (8) semesters of full time study. Each academic year consists of two (2) semesters. The length of a semester is seventeen (17) weeks of which fifteen (15) weeks are for teaching and two (2) weeks for examinations.
Each course shall be assessed in two parts on the basis of 100 total marks (except Field Attachment and Introduction of Computers) with proportions determined as follows:-
- Coursework (Progressive Assessment) contributes 30% of the total marks
- Written final Examination shall contribute 70% of the total marks.
The Coursework shall consist of written assignments and/or tests. A student who does not submit Coursework, or fails to meet the deadline for its submission to the instructor, shall not be issued with a Certificate of Due Performance. The possession of such a certificate is a pre-requisite for sitting the final semester examinations.
- Examinations are conducted in the last two weeks of the Semester.
- Students will sit for a written examination that lasts three and a half hours in each of the courses offered per semester. Non law courses may be provided for separately in their course content.
- There are three main types of examinations administered in the programme namely:
- Closed-Book Exams whereby no written materials whatsoever are allowed in the examinations room;
- Open-Book Examinations, which allow students to consult restricted or unrestricted materials; and
- Examiners have the discretion to select which type of examination to offer.
- The pass mark for each course is 50%.
All students in their second and third year (recess term: June-July) will be attached to Government departments, local governments, public institutions, private sector enterprises, or non-government organizations to get practical experience. The attachment will last 6 weeks in each year. The students are expected to submit a Field Attachment Report at the end of the field attachment. The student should be graded on attendance, activities carried out, lessons learnt and ability to manage him or herself.
Field work attachment will be assessed and will contribute to the student’s academic grading and shall carry four (4) Credits Units.
Marks for the Field Attachment performance will be distributed between the assessment by the on site Field Supervisor and the Academic Supervisor. The marks for field attachments shall be 100% and shall be distributed as follows;
- Assessment by the on-site Field Supervisor will carry 40%.
- Assessment by the Academic Supervisor will carry 60%.
Progression of a student shall be based on the following;
- Normal Progress
To be on “Normal Progress” a student must have passed all the courses and have a minimum CGPA of 2.00 at the end of each Semester of any academic year he or she is in attendance.
- Probationary Progress
A student will be placed on “probation” when he/she obtains a CGPA of less than 2.00 or fails to score 50% in any course. No student shall be allowed to proceed to another academic year of study with more than five (5) retake courses at a time.
A student shall be discontinued from the programme in any of the following circumstances;
- Accumulation of three consecutive probations based on CGPA.
- Failing to obtain at least the pass mark (50%) during the third assessment in the same course s/he has retaken.
- Overstaying on the programme for over six years.
- Withdrawal from a programme or course
A registered student may withdraw from a programme or course for satisfactory reasons e.g. financial constraints, sickness or social or psychological factors. Such withdraws must be communicated to and approved by the Dean’s Office in writing. A maximum of two withdrawals from the programme is allowed for every student.
- Failure of a prerequisite course
When a student fails a pre-requisite course with a mark between 40% and 50% i.e. with a CGPA below 2.00 he/she shall be allowed to proceed to the next semester/course and then retake the failed course when next offered. If the level of failure is below 40% the student shall not be allowed to proceed to the next similar higher course.
- Re- taking a Course
A student may retake a course for the following reasons:
- To obtain at least the pass mark (50%). Each course can be retaken for a maximum of two sittings;
- To improve the grade of the course which a student has passed;
- A student who does not wish to re-take a failed elective course shall be allowed to substitute it with another elective course;
- A final year student whose final examination results have already been classified by the School Examiners Board and has qualified for the award of a degree shall not be permitted to retake any course.
A student retaking a course must attend all lectures, do the required coursework and sit the end of semester examinations.
A course shall be graded out of a total of 100 marks and shall be assigned a letter grade and grade point as follows:
|Marks||Letter Grade||Grade Point (GP)||Interpretation|
|0 – 49||F||1.5||Fail|
A minimum pass grade for each course shall be 2.0 grade points. Courses failed shall not be graded.
A student’s academic standing is determined by the Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) which is obtained by;
- Multiplying the Grade Point (GP) obtained in each course by the Credit Units assigned to the course in order to get the weighted score.
- Adding up together the weighted scores for all courses taken up to the time; and
- Dividing the total weighted score by the total number of credit units taken up to that time.
The classification of the Bachelor of Laws degree programme shall be as follows:
|Second class-Upper Division||3.60-4.39|
|Second class-Lower Division||2.80-3.59|
In order to be eligible for the award of the Bachelor of Laws Degree, a student must complete the following requirements:
- Completion of a minimum of 162 Credit Units;
- Completion of 41 courses;
The successful students will be awarded a Bachelor of Laws Degree of St. Augustine International University.
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