The Inaugural Unwanted Witness Privacy Moot: A week later and going forward, all Participating Law schools won!

Last week, we successfully held our two-day inaugural Privacy Moot Court inter-university competition that happened at Makerere University-Uganda on 13-14th October 2022.

The Moot Competition is part of our long advocacy for safe digital spaces that thrive on robust legal and institutional frameworks and compliance. In 2019, Uganda Passed The Data Protection and Privacy Act, 2019 to regulate the collection and processing of data, restricting the illicit utilisation or mishandling of personal information by creating a legal environment of fairness, security, accuracy, and accountability in dealing with data.

This means that in the immediate future, organizations will need ‘privacy professionals’ to ensure compliance with these regulations. This opens new roles for budding legal professionals such as data protection officers, chief privacy officers, privacy lawyers, or those working with regulatory bodies or government authorities to carry out data protection implementation, advisory, and audits.

However, up to date, we do not have any legal precedents from our court system, a moot competition presided over by three senior Justices of Courts of Judicature of Uganda; Justice Godfrey Kiryabwire, Hon. Justice Stephen Mubiru and Hon. Lady Justice Patricia Basaza-Wasswa filled the gap through this mock trial.

The inter-university privacy moot court competition was not just a competition but a learning platform to prepare young professionals for emerging roles in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

To that end, we held this inaugural moot Court Competition on Privacy in a bid to train young legal professionals with expert knowledge of data protection laws, policies and regulations and to further develop their oral, written, analytical, logical, and legal technological skills necessary for this growing sector.

The Mock/moot question centred around the daily privacy concerns related to the public’s interaction with several technological solutions and it was designed in such a way that it helps the budding “legal professionals” to solve daily privacy challenges faced by everyone that interacts with technological tools in the transport and finance sector. 

We believe by the end of the competition, the participants achieved hands-on experience and skills in solving privacy concerns in our daily lives and are prepared to position themselves as Data and Privacy officers among others. 

Whereas out of the eight law schools that participated in the competition, Islamic University In Uganda- a female campus won the award of Best Submissions (Respondent), Kampala International University won the award of best-written Submissions (Applicant) and emerged the overall winner, and Makerere University as the 1st runner’s up, without forgetting the individual award of the best oralist that was scooped by Mr Areeba Jonathan from Kampala University, we believe that not only did every participant win in very many respects by participating in the competition in terms of acquiring substantive knowledge in Data Protection and Privacy and Trial Advocacy skills, but also have an uncommon chance to interact with the Data protection and privacy regulators and enforcers like Ms Stella Alibatesee the Executive Director of the Privacy and Data Protection Office and the Ugandan Judiciary. We congratulate all the participating Universities and we pledge our commitment towards imparting knowledge through collaborating with the academia and regulators.

About The Unwanted Witness

The Unwanted Witness, Uganda is a civil society organization (CSO) that was established to respond to the gap in effective communication using various online expression platforms