On the 2nd March 2023, Public Interest Law Clinic (PILAC), School of Law (SoL), Makerere University together with Unwanted Witness launched the 2nd edition of the Privacy Moot Court Competition. The competition themed, ‘Balancing Privacy Rights and National Security: Navigating the Impact of Surveillance Laws on Individual Freedoms’ will take place on the 21st to 22nd September, 2023 at SoL.
The competition that is between University Law Schools provides law students and young law professionals with an opportunity to showcase their skills and knowledge in privacy law and technology.
In her remarks, Ms. Dorothy Mukasa, Executive Director – Unwanted Witness explained that ‘for this year’s competition, participants will explore the tension between the need for national security and protection of individual privacy rights, particularly in the context of surveillance laws’. Dorothy also noted that, ‘we are increasingly observing the privatization of public responsibilities through public-private partnerships to undertake surveillance without any human rights safeguards. More scrutiny is required to guard against abuse of human rights.
Competing teams will be expected to answer questions such as: How government and vendors of surveillance technologies can meet their duties and obligations under UN guiding principles on business and human rights?; How can individuals and organisations protect their privacy in an age of increasing digital surveillance?
Dr. Diana Ahumuza, a Lecturer at SoL and Coordinator-Clinical Legal Education (CLE), PILAC said, ‘this is a strategic partnership for SoL with Unwanted Witness which also helps cement relationships with other law schools in the country’. She stressed that the moot competitions help build capacity for the law schools and the students learn by doing.
The organisers believe that the competition will play a significant role in promoting public awareness and understanding of the privacy law. Participants will be tasked to propose practical solutions that balance national security concerns with the protection of privacy rights.
The legal and policy framework in Uganda is guided by The Data Protection and Privacy Act, 2019 and the Data Protection and Privacy Regulations 2021 which were enacted primarily to regulate the collection, processing, use and disclosure of personal data.
More information about the competition and how to register can be accessed at the link: www.uwmoot.com
*PILAC is an initiative of SoL, Makerere University that seeks to promote hands-on experiential learning as well as expose students to live cases. For more: https://pilac.mak.ac.ug
*Unwanted Witness is a leading digital rights organisation in Uganda that advocates for the open, secure and inclusive use of technology that contributes to the realization of human rights and good governance. For more: www.unwantedwitness.org
This story was extracted from the MAK Law School website