Government of Uganda has since the 1980’s developed and implemented instruments of laws and reforms relevant for the ensuring justice, human rights, accountability and Good governance. However, despite all those efforts the poorest persons continued to face injustices, human rights abuses, violence, land grabbing, corruption and lack of accountability. Legal services are universally expensive and confined in urban areas. According to a baseline survey and needs assessment report (2004) by DANIDA, the ratio of lawyers to people in Uganda is 1:12,000 people and yet this number also includes the non-practicing lawyers.
Community members particularly the vulnerable and marginalized are also unaware of the laws and procedures and so cannot demand for justice services. Access to justice services has also been constrained by irregular court sessions which result to delayed justice. Information from Kibaale District Development Plan 2006/07 reveals that 40% of the crime suspects are delayed without trial exposing victims to ‘poor’ crowded jail conditions.
Justice services are also characterized by high levels of corruption. Anecdotal information reveals that the police, LC and other formal courts demand for bribes for a court hearing to be conducted. Many vulnerable persons cannot afford to meet such costs and so they keep away from court.