Strengthening Local Council Courts through Leadership Training

26 Jul Strengthening Local Council Courts through Leadership Training

Driving innovation and growth at a systemic level requires strong personal and group leadership. This is why the Strengthening the Capacity of Local Council Courts in Uganda project contains a leadership training component to complement its procedural training. Funded by the Democratic Governance Facility and run by the ILI-ACLE alongside the Ministry of Local Government (MoLG), this ongoing programme, which was initiated in 2013, focuses on strengthening the abilities of Uganda’s local council courts (LCCs). These are Uganda’s courts of first instance, the most-available source of legal redress for a majority of citizens, especially in rural areas. To ensure that these courts are well-equipped to administer justice, this programme not only focuses on development of well-trained LCC personnel, but also leaders capable of instituting and putting into practice recommendations for strengthening their courts. This leadership initiative is a key aspect of ILI-ALCE’s goal of strengthening LCCs across the country. By developing the leaders who will spearhead improvements to the local council court system, the initiative plays a significant role in sustainably enhancing the legal service capabilities of Uganda’s most accessible and accountable courts. So far, ILI-ACLE has held two training sessions – from 17-30 June and 3-14 July, 2017.

Upon completion of the course, participants return to their districts equipped with the leadership capabilities to serve as lead trainers who are able to conduct training for LCCs at the parish and village levels. By enabling local leaders to oversee training, the MoLG can drastically expand its training capacity, enabling more courts in rural areas of the country to gain access to this programming. During the training, participants analyze and discuss the core attributes of effective leaders such as courage, empathy, respect, integrity, innovation, and commitment, engaging these topics through textual analysis, guided discussion, and real-world case studies. In addition, the programme included a visit to the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) for a presentation by Jennifer Musisi, a highly-respected leader in public service who currently serves as the office’s executive director. An example of a strong, effective leader, Ms. Musisi spoke about the value of putting forth maximum effort and persevering in the face of seemingly overwhelming obstacles.

Furthermore, the training creates pathways for future collaboration by providing a forum in which participants are able to create a network amongst each other that fuels continued dialogue between districts, opening up potential partnerships and learning opportunities among colleagues. Armed with the necessary skills and connections, participants are well-equipped to affect change at the local level. By enabling local leaders, this initiative can disseminate the values, methods, and resources necessary to support and build strong LCCs throughout the country and in so doing, enhancing access to justice.

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