Awards & Honours

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The BarefootLaw Sandals

When we started BarefootLaw, close to three years ago, one of the early and most interesting issues we dealt with had to do with land. A gentleman from Eastern Uganda required information and guidance about land, which information we were able to provide.

As a result of this info and guidance, he was able to secure his father’s land. On Christmas day, as a thank you, he sent us sandals (lugabire) as a Christmas gift, unfortunately, the person supposed to deliver the sandals arrived a few months late.

None the less, the sandals did arrive, and as BarefootLaw, we consider this the first ever award we received, and we went ahead to prominently display them on our wall, among our other awards.

Social Media Awards: Social Justice Category 2013.

The Uganda Social Media Awards honor the best people and organizations on social media, culminating in a blockbuster ceremony in Uganda. BarefootLaw won this award for providing a model through which Social Media can be used as a tool for access to justice.


The ACIA Awards is an annual initiative that fosters innovation through the recognition and reward of outstanding ICT innovations. ACIA provides a platform upon which outstanding ICT innovations can be showcased and propelled to further success.

The initiative was established in 2010 by the Uganda Communications Commission and since its establishment, various innovations have been recognised and awarded in different ways.

BarefootLaw won this award under the Best Exhibitors, ICT for Development Category as well as the overall Judges Choice Awards .

Legal Rebel 2014- American Bar Association, USA.

The legal rebel is awarded to the most innovative and influential lawyers worldwide by the American Bar Association. Gerald Abila was given this recognition for his work in using information technology as a tool to increase access to justice.

In receiving this award, he was the first and only African thus far to receive such an honour.

HiiL Innovating Justice, SME Empowerment Change- Hague, Netherlands

HiiL Justice Accelerator, together with the Ford Foundation, runs the SME Empowerment Challenge to promote justice solutions that empower SMEs across Africa.

Our initiative, the mSME Garage emerged runners up.

Social Media Awards Africa- Lagos, Nigeria

The Social Media Awards are Africa’s premier awards for social and digital media with nominations spanning four categories and drawn from across the continent.

BarefootLaw emerged under the “Best Facebook Page in Africa” category.

Africa Legal Awards, 2015-Johannesburg, South Africa

Hosted by Legal Week (organisers of The British Legal Awards) and the Corporate Counsel Association of South Africa (CCASA), The African Legal Awards will bring the region’s legal community together for a glittering awards ceremony on Friday 9 September at The Wanderers Club, Johannesburg.

The African Legal Awards set out to recognise exceptional achievement from within Africa’s legal community at a time when the legal sector is going through a period of rapid change.

As African economies grow and diversify, local and international lawyers are presented with both opportunities and challenges as they seek to underpin this expansion with sound legal advice.

BarefootLaw emerged winners under the Innovation Award and this was the first time a legal organisation from Uganda won such a prestigious award.

World Wide Web Foundation- Washington, DC

BareFoot Law was recognised for the second year running by the World Wide Web Foundation, an organisation set up and managed by the inventor of the internet, Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

“One encouraging counter-example highlighted by our researchers is Uganda’s BareFoot Law, a non-profit organisation serving 128,000 people monthly with free legal advice via Facebook, Twitter, email and SMS. Its mandate is “to use available tools of Information Technology to disseminate … law services and education cost effectively,” said the World Wide Web Index Report, 2013.

Echoing Green Fellow, 2016

The Echoing Green Fellowship is given to outstanding individuals driving crucial change on the greatest social challenges of our time.

Gerald Abila, Founder and E.D of BarefootLaw was recognised among such leaders and selected as an Echoing Green Fellow, 2016.

Young Achiever Award

The Young Achiever Awards are the most prestigious Ugandan awards that can be bestowed upon any Ugandan under 35 years old. This award was given to Gerald Abila under the “Leadership and Social Enterprise” category.

The award was in recognition of his work in setting up and successfully running enterprises that have had a positive social impact, particularly for his role in setting up and managing BarefootLaw.

NGO Heroes, 2015, The Guardian, UK

The NGO Heroes is an initiative by The Guardian, in partnership with Adeso Africa, a southern NGO, Bond, the UK INGO alliance who run the Bond Awards every year, CIVICUS, the global alliance for civil society organisations, and Interaction, the Washington-based US alliance of NGOs.

This recognition is given to NGOs/ Organisations who “lit up the year”

BBC World Service, My Perfect Country

BBC World Service, My Perfect Country

In a world where a lot is going wrong there is also a lot going right. So what if you could build a country – with policies that actually worked?

Hosted by Fi Glover and digital guru Martha Lane Fox, the BBC selected 5 initiatives from around the world that have been truly successful.

BarefootLaw was recognised for our unique approach towards increasing access to justice to underserved communities.

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