BarefootLaw provides the public with free legal information and assistance using innovative approaches.
In serving the public, BarefootLaw has embraced the use of technology and innovation in addition to traditional methods to bring knowledge of the law and human rights to communities and small businesses
The National Workshop on Women’s Rights
Tuesday 23rd March, BarefootLaw hosted the “The National Workshop on Women’s Rights” as a culmination of all our activities in the “Legal Empowerment of Women Using Technology and Innovation” (LEWUTi) project. The purpose of the workshop was to update all the stakeholders on the results of the project since its inception, the challenges, and the opportunities.
Launch of Winnie 2.0 by the Secretary General of the Commonwealth
We were honoured to host the Rt. Honorable Patricia Scotland at BarefootLaw offices, where she launched Winnie 2.0, the second version of our Artificial Intelligence lawyer.
First Digital Outreach
We held our first virtual outreach on 25th February 2021. The legal team shared with an audience of 30 participants on the topic of succession emphasizing the role of preparing wills to facilitate transition of roles, responsibilities, and distribution of property upon the death of a family head.
Decentralized LEWUTi Outreaches
The LEWUTi project revisited the outreach strategy in the face of Covid-19. A decentralized approach to outreaches saw one hundred and eight (108) outreach programs in 108 different villages throughout Gulu district. Over three thousand and six hundred (3622) people turned up for the sensitisation programs, 84% of whom were women.
Together with its partners- LASPNET,the DGF; JLOS; and HiiL, we convened the second Legal Aid Innovations Conference 2 (LAICON2), with a focus on new innovations developed by Legal Aid Service Providers (LASPs), Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) institutions both at national and the grassroots to enhance Access to Justice amidst the COVID pandemic.
2019/20 Annual Report Release
The report covers gives an in-depth journey into 2019/20, also referred to as BarefootLaw 3.0. This was an era of accountability and enhancement. Find a copy here.
WEBINAR SERIES 11- Mediation and Arbitration during and after Covid-19
The esteemed Judge Ann Williams second in our Webinar series on Friday, 31 July we will discuss how mediation and arbitration can be used as tools of conflict resolution during a global pandemic.
Our first outreach after total lockdown was with a group of community leader to roll out the BFL Nodes App, under the Nodes Project. The app is a new channel which communicate directly with beneficiaries under local councils (LCs) or groups. In July, we trained twenty-five (25) LCs in Jinja on the law, their duties and responsibilities. We also taught them on how to use the app to access BarefootLaw’s help in their work and connect their communities to our free services.
WEBINAR SERIES LAUNCH-Missionaries of Justice and Empathy
BarefootLaw partnered with the Strathmore Law School to create a space for top contributors in the justice sector globally, to share lessons and experiences on how empathy can be leveraged to foster justice. In our first episode, we hosted former Chief Justice of Kenya and President of the Supreme Court, Dr. Willy Mutunga, to share his experience on why justice actors need to understand and embrace empathy to become better justice defenders.
In line with The Contingency Strategy for COVID 19 Effects on COVID 19 Operations,the team was requested to stay in the safety of their homes, as our first guard against the pandemic.
CyberLaws of Uganda Report
Together with partners, Digital Human Rights Lab, the GIZ, Future Challenges, the betterplacelab, we launched the CyberLaws of Uganda Report.
Launch of Winnie
On the 22nd August 2019, we launched Winnie, our BarefootLaw General AI, at the Imperial College Business School as a culmination of the Data Science for Social Good (DSSG): DataFest 2019 Summer Fellowship. The system is a culmination of six-years’work from BarefootLaw.
Launch of LEWUTi
On 13th June, we launched the project, Legal Empowerment of Women Using Technology and Innovation (LEWUTI) in Gulu. The project uses digital solutions to not only overcome the geographical barriers in hard-to-reach areas, but also allows women to access information in a confidential space.
Legal Aid Innovations Conference
The first of its kind in Africa, BarefootLaw, together with LASPNET, and supported by the DGF, launched the premier Legal Aid Innovations Conference in September 2017. It was a two-day event held in Kampala with 150 attendants from more than 7 countries around the world. At the Conference, 25 legal aid innovators showcased their ideas from various renowned legal aid service providers.
The purpose of this event was to showcase the power of innovation within the legal sphere and how it ensures access to justice in more communities.
The King Baudouin Foundation Africa Development Prize
The Prize rewards outstanding contributions and led by Africans who stand out in their field and significantly improve the quality of life of the people they serve and empower people to take development into their own hands.
This initiative was born out of the SME Empowerment Innovation Award that BarefootLaw received. The mSME Garage uses technology to provide free Legal consultations and services, to micro, small and medium enterprises. The aim of the garage is to help the mSME’s overcome bottlenecks they face in gaining access to justice and in building healthier businesses. This initiative ensures that mSME’s in Uganda continue to run effectively and efficiently.
Women Property Rights Initiative
Under the Women’s Property Rights Initiative (WPRI), BarefootLaw Uganda uses technology, audio- visual tools and traditional means of legal aid such as seminars and clinics to promote women’s knowledge of the law. Women are empowered when provided with legal information, support and guidance.
January 2015: BarefootLaw was announced the winner of the Africa Social Media Awards, for Best Facebook Page.
November 2015: BarefootLaw was awarded the prestigious Innovation Award at the Africa Legal Awards.
December 2015 – Recognized by the Guardian’s Global Development Professional’s Network as the NGO Heroes for 2015.
The NGO Heroes is a selection of various individuals/ organisations across the Development World that are highlighted as doing exceptional work in their development fields. BarefootLaw was selected amongst 14 NGO Heroes of 2015, from over 100 nominated individuals/ organisations.
December 2015: BarefootLaw won a cash prize in the SME Empowerment Innovation
March 2014: BarefootLaw was mentioned in a report by the World Wide Web Website as an example of the ways in which societies are benefitting from the Internet. May 2014: BarefootLaw won multiple awards at the Uganda Communications Commission’s ACIA Awards. The multiple Awards included; Best Exhibitor Digital Content, ACIA Awards, the Judges Choice Award. The panel of Judges selected BarefootLaw as their enterprise of choice for our role in providing legal information to all. Digital Content Award. BarefootLaw was recognised for enhancing information while taking into consideration the diversity and concerns of Ugandans.
The Social Media Awards recognize individuals and organisations that use social media to benefit others in the Community. BarefootLaw won the Social Media Awards 2013. This was confirmation about the need for this service.
The response on Facebook was overwhelming. This created a need to create a more sustainable way of sharing this knowledge. This led to the formation a team of like-minded individuals who combined skills and resources to build this dream. BarefootLaw was incorporated on 15th March 2013.
In August 2012, while Gerald was still a Law student, he came across the first case that indicated to him that many citizens were ignorant of the Law. This inspired him to begin sharing what he was learning as a student of the Law, and as a young person, he used already available platforms; his facebook page and SMS. Gerald shares more in his interview with the BBC team.