The sixth episode of the BBC World Service programme 'My Perfect Country' looks at how communities in Uganda have revolutionised the justice system by taking matters into their own hands.
The complexity of the law system in Uganda can be a tough one to follow – and causes particular difficulties for its residents. Solving that problem are the Barefoot Lawyers. In 2012, a technically competent group of legal experts began providing legal advice through social media to anyone who requested it. And it is now an award-winning, non-profit social enterprise assisting 300,000 people every month and answering around 50 enquiries per day. A particular achievement came in winning a sexual assault case for a twelve-year-old girl.
The programme delves into the inner workings of the legal group to hear why they wanted to help and how they have made it work. They hear from the individuals whose lives have been changed as a result – as well as how the country’s official legal system are responding to the group.
Is a DIY law system the basis for a perfect country? Presenter Fi Glover, entrepreneur Martha Lane Fox, Professor Henrietta Moore and special studio guests – give their verdict.
Visit the ‘My Perfect Country: Uganda-site to listen to the episode.