Defense and Veteran Affairs minister Adolf Mwesige has asked parliament to pass the National legal Aid bill 2019 before the 10th parliament ends its term of operation.
Mwesige says if passed into law, the bill will help the vulnerable and poor access free legal services.
He was this morning opening a meeting of Members of Parliament on the legal and parliamentary affairs committee and members of the civil society on the importance of legal aid during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The bill seeks to among other things; make it mandatory for the government to provide a lawyer to defend a vulnerable person who cannot afford legal fees for their defense before court.
The current law, only mandates government to provide free lawyers to persons who have committed capital offences such as defilement and the said lawyer is only provided when the trial is before the high court.
However, the civil society organizations say the suspect should have a lawyer from the time of arrest up to the time of trial.