Know About NETPIL An umbrella for Public Interest Lawyering launched in May 2015

Building and nurturing social

justice lawyers


Although PIL is often used as part of a wider campaign, the primary intention of PIL, as with any litigation, is to secure a concrete solution or remedy for a problem.
That solution or remedy could be one of the following:

  • A ruling that expresses authoritative support for a group’s argument or complaint
  • A legal order requiring a certain action to be taken
  • A legal order preventing or stopping an event or series of events from happening
  • Aruling securing financial compensation for a group of people who have been legally wronged

The formal finding that a legal wrong has been done is extremely important. The court's official endorsement of one party’s version of the facts over another’s shows the rightfulness of the successful party’s position and this can have long-reaching consequences. It can lead to the court taking positive or preventative action to offer protection to the group or interest facing threat.

Although financial compensation may not seem an appropriate solution to some complaints, its suitability or symbolic value in certain situations should be recognised. Furthermore, compensation may, in some cases, be a complete and suitable remedy for a group who believe they have been wronged.

For more serious or systemic issues such as murder, rape, or gender inequality, compensation alone cannot fully provide a just solution. In such cases, better law enforcement, law reform or social change, is necessary. This is a second goal of PIL: to create a legal precedent for the future so that hopefully, no other individual or group will suffer the same the wrong.

Often rulings by constitutional or supreme courts are legally binding, which means they need to be taken into account when writing laws in the future. In some systems and in certain courts, legal rulings may necessitate parliamentary action.

Finally, PIL can be used to achieve a broader objective than simply winning or defending a case. The very process of bringing or defending a case may raise public awareness of an issue and foster public support for change in a law or practice. In this way, PIL may aid other methods of promoting change like lobbying, political activism, or demonstrations.


  • Bobi wine riots lawyers to institute public prosecution against security organs
  • Two years later lawyers demand execution of supreme court recommendations on electoral reform
  • Mbabazi petition parties worry over unimplemented supreme court recommendations
  • Public interest lawyers reveal plans to sue perpetrators of recent torture brutality
  • Membership NETPIL membership is open to individuals, law firms and non-governmental organizations with a commitment to engage in public interest litigation to achieve social justice.

    Contact Info

    AddressPublic Interest Law Clinic School of Law, Makerere University


    Office HoursMon - Friday, 9:00 - 5:00