Our Mandate

To strengthen coordination and networking of LASPs, harmonisation and standardisation of legal aid service provision by the different service providers, lobbying and advocacy to facilitate a favourable legal and policy environment.

Historical Background

During the period 1995 to about 2000, various justice delivery institutions strengthened their performance in a number of areas ranging from legislation, policy interventions, institutional establishments, research, pilot initiatives, and programmatic interventions.

Similarly, civil society organisations (CSOs), engaged in interventions that targeted the users of the justice delivery agencies with major focus on human rights education, legal rights awareness as well as legal aid.

The Legal Aid Service Providers' Network in Uganda (LASPNET) was subsequently conceived in early 2001 as a loose coalition to steer involvement of the private sector players in addressing the issues directly affecting the poor and their access to justice.

LASPNET was then registered and formalised its status in April 2004 as a company limited by guarantee to promote access to justice in close working relationship with the Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) and through support from the Legal Aid Basket Fund (LABF).

At that time, the network was composed of a few legal aid service providers who included the LDC Legal Aid Clinic (LAC), Public Defender Association of Uganda (PDAU), the Uganda Gender Resource Center (UGRC), Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI), the Legal Aid Project of the Uganda Law Society (LAP), and the Association of Women Lawyers (FIDA).

LASPNET has gained a lot of experience since its establishment in 2004 when most of the legal aid services were largely provided by organisations located in urban areas with barely any coordinated mechanisms to pursue common agenda. A fully fledged Secretariat is now in place to enhance member ownership and participation in collective programmes as well as offer a platform of opportunities for development partnerships and strategic networking with all the relevant actors in the Justice, Law and Order Sector.

A 5-year strategic plan was also developed in 2010 to drive a more coordinated effort for improving synergies that strengthen legal aid service provision. Since 2011, the membership has grown from about 20 organisations reaching 41 within a period of two years. This has created a constituency of passionate individuals and organisations seeking to utilise their expertise more appropriately in provision of legal aid. A lot of institutional development efforts have already been taken to ensure that the Network is relevant and functional.

It is on this basis that LASPNET has built its current institutional setting in order to consolidate the achievements made towards systemic improvements and ensure programme developments that strengthen coordination as well as support more effective approaches to enhancing the provision of quality legal aid services.

The objectives of the Network are:

 (a) To improve the cost effectiveness of legal aid service providers, increase geographical coverage and enhance the quality of legal aid services;

 (b) To build and strengthen institutional and human resource capacity of legal aid service providers;

 (c) To harmonize the provision of legal aid and facilitate the development and use of common standards and guidelines;

 (d) To lobby and advocate for issues relevant and appropriate to the promotion of access to justice;

 (e) To research, document and disseminate information on the provision of legal aid;

 (f) To mobilize resources for legal aid service providers;

 (g) To strengthen the voice and visibility of legal aid service providers;

 (h) To do all such other lawful things that are incidental or conducive to the attainment of any or all of the above objectives

 

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ABOUT LASPNET

The Legal Aid Service Providers Network (LASPNET) is a national member NGO established in 2004 to provide strategic linkages and a collaboration framework for the Legal Aid Service Providers and maintain a common front to interface with various actors in the Justice, Law and Order Sector in Uganda. It targets three critical aspects of coordination: a collective role bringing together different LASPs for solidarity in strategizing, sharing lessons and experiences, while minimizing duplication; capacitating them through collaborative research and analysis ; as well as documenting, providing needed feedback, and amplifying voice on key issues regarding access to justice/legal aid at regional, national or international level.

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Contact Us

  • Plot 10, Block 75 Balintuma Road, Mengo.
    P.O. Box 8488, Kampala-Uganda
  • Tel: +256(0)393513733 
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