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Developments in Uganda

by Jay Milbrandt

Thursday, we made a 1-hour trek out to Uganda Christian University in a semi-rural part of Uganda. It was a beautiful area and a wonderful campus. After touring the campus and meeting with leadership, Dean Starr participated as a judge on the student moot court competition, then spoke to the students. UCU has a law school—the second oldest law school in the country—and, arguably, it produces some of the best law students. UCU would like to build a strong relationship to Pepperdine and we will see if there are some ways we can assist them with resources.

After returning to Kampala, we attended the 4th of July reception (held on July 2nd) at the Ambassador's residence. It was an interesting party and we made some great contacts.

On Friday morning, we had a meeting with Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki. He was really delightful and excited about the relationship with Pepperdine. Overall, it was a very productive meeting for us. Hopefully the Chief Justice will join us at Pepperdine in the not-too-distant future. At the end of the meeting with signed the MOU between Uganda and Pepperdine Law, which I drafted earlier this year. Thus, we now have an official agreement between Pepperdine and Uganda.

After the meeting, we left immediately for the book release of Justice James Ogoola, the Principal Judge. Justice Ogoola is an amazing person—I met him earlier this week privately and he was incredibly kind. He is also an magnificent poet—his book being release was a book of poetry. The event was quite large, well attended, and impressive. We met some remarkable people, including the Prime Minister of Uganda. After the event, we took some time off that afternoon and I visited another NGO based in Kampala.

The Ugandan Judiciary Distinguished Speakers Series was set for Friday evening—our large "capstone" event in Uganda. I estimated that there were probably about 70 members of the judiciary present. The event went well and was a wonderful event for Pepperdine's presence in Uganda.

I'm trying to catch up my blog posts, but I'll stop there for now.