Support to the Uganda Small Claim Procedure pilot

LASER was approached by the Uganda Judiciary and the Danida Uganda Good Governance Project to undertake an evaluation of the Judiciary’s Small Claims Procedure (SCP) pilot. The aim of the SCP pilot was to test how the Judiciary could address the challenges small firms face around dispute resolution, by introducing new small claims procedures in magistrate courts.

LASER undertook a review of the SCP, assessing and documenting progress in the pilot phase, with the aim of feeding into a business case to secure investment for the nation-wide roll-out of the SCP.

While the evaluation conducted by LASER found the SCP pilot to be innovative and potentially transformative, LASER was requested by the Judiciary and Danida to provide support to translate the findings and recommendations from the review into a phased and costed workplan, supported by a M&E framework. LASER also subsequently provided support to the Judiciary to develop capacity to monitor the SCP pilot.

Retrospective study of the Commercial Court of the High Court of Uganda

The Judiciary also commissioned LASER to conduct a retrospective study of the performance and impact of the Commercial Court Division of the High Court of Uganda from its inception in 1996 to date. The aim of the study was to help the Judiciary assess what has been achieved, to learn from experience and to develop strategies for the next phase of development.

Key findings from the study was that the Court has made impressive gains in terms of efficiency and institutional embeddedness and, in turn, furthered the Government’s objective of facilitating private sector growth. In particular, the Court transformed the time taken to process commercial cases, reducing turnaround from five years to eighteen months, despite a seven-fold increase in the number of cases heard; the average total annual value of cases deal with by the Court is around US$74M – a 70% increase in the real average value of cases since the Court began. The full report can be accessed here

Leveraging pro bono support

LASER also supported DFID Uganda to access pro bono assistance from Clifford Chance, which resulted in the development of a report on foreign investment in Uganda.