In 1952, the then Chief Secretary of Uganda Government issued a Notice entitled “African Pupils – Crown Law Chambers’’ which was to provide for the English Bar training of Ugandan citizens aspiring to join colonial legal service in the Attorney Generals’ Chambers.
In 1961, this eventually led to the establishment of the Nsamizi Law School in Entebbe. Nsamizi Law School instructed only native judges who administered the African Courts and started a course for students who were reading part I of the English Bar Examinations. Upon successful completion, the students read part II of the examinations in the Inns of Court in London where after the exam, they qualified as Barristers.
With a vision of establishing a fully-fledged law school in Uganda, the Gower Committee was set up by the Attorney General in 1968 to carry out a study and make recommendations on the status of legal education in Uganda. The report was received by the Attorney General in January, 1969.
Among its recommendations, was that legal education should be imparted at two separate institutions; the University carrying out training on substantive undergraduate/legal education and professional post-graduate training being handled by a separate institution. In 1968, a department of law was established under the Faculty of Social Sciences at Makerere University, offering a three-year course leading to the Bachelor of Laws Degree of the University of East Africa. This department became a fully-fledged faculty in 1970 and this later became Makerere University, following the disintegration of the University of East Africa.
The Gower Committee was influenced by the needs of post-colonial Uganda to “Africanise” the civil service. Legal personnel were to be trained to serve the interests of the nation, and not with a perspective of preparing them for private practice, civil society organizations or any other field of law. The prevalent view then, even from the government, was that a law degree would be sufficient legal education for a lawyer. Those who intended to venture into private legal practice would need to go through professional training. Nsamizi Law School was consequently transformed into Law Development Centre.
The Law Development Centre was established by the LDC Act of 1970, which was promulgated into law on 21st August 1970 under the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. LDC has been in existence for 53 years.