For one of my classes this semester I went down to the OU law building south of the dorms to attend a showing of REMAND, a documentary about the ongoing reform of the Ugandan legal system. Since the adoption of their new constitution, Ugandans have been trying to develop their government to be as efficient and productive as possible. In order to properly organize their legal system, the Ugandan government turned to U.S. lawyers and professors who offered to host Ugandan lawyers in the U.S. and show them first-hand how the U.S. legal system worked. After observing this system, the Ugandan lawyers were able to go back and implement parts of our system that worked for them. One idea that was suggested by U.S. students attending a legal conference in Uganda was the introduction of plea-bargaining into the Ugandan system. According to Ugandan law, after a criminal was arrested but before he was tried in court, he needed to be kept in prison. However, the court system was overwhelmed by its caseload and prisoners could wait six or seven years in prison for their trial. Even children who were accused of a charge could be imprisoned for years in terrible conditions. The backlog in the courts resulted in an overcrowded prison system. The documentary showed over three thousand men being kept in a facility designed for six hundred. I found it very interesting that in this specific case, U.S. lawyers were able to help implement certain aspects of the U.S. legal system, such as plea-bargaining, without coercing Uganda to imitate us entirely. I find too often that humanitarian efforts attempt to make others just like us, even if that’s not what’s best for them.