Access to justice is a critical pillar of poverty reduction and sustainable development, and the 2010 Constitution requires the government to facilitate access to justice for all citizens.
IDLO has been supporting the Judiciary in the implementation of Chapter 10 of the Constitution with the goal of enhancing access to justice for all Kenyans through strengthened institutional capacity to administer justice. IDLO’s technical assistance has included support to the Judiciary Transformation Framework, and presently under the Judiciary’s Strategic Plan 2014-2018 and the Sustaining Judiciary Transformation blueprint.
Since 2012, IDLO has been working to strengthen the capacity of the Judiciary to administer justice through a series of activities:
- Strengthening the capacity of Judicial Officers through the delivery of trainings and bar-bench forums;
- Providing technical assistance to the Judiciary’s operationalization of alternative dispute resolution through support to the Alternative Justice Systems Taskforce and the Court Annexed Mediation Project with the Family and Commercial Divisions of the High Court;
- Supporting the capacity of the Judiciary to use information technology so that citizens can have increased access to information;
- Developing a legislative framework for access to justice through judicial policies on Sentencing and Bail and Bond;
- Supporting the development of the Judiciary Code of Conduct and Ethics;
- Providing technical assistance to the Family Division of the High Court on key legislative and policy reforms related to gender justice issues, including the revised Law of Succession (Amendment) Bill and Revised Probate & Administration Rules, which will have an important impact for women and marginalized groups throughout Kenya as they pertain to land, property and inheritance;
- Offering a mentorship program for female judicial officers in collaboration with the Kenya Women Judges Association;
- Working with the Directorate of Public Affairs and Communication to streamline communications across the Judiciary to improve its public perception and better communicate reforms;
- Supporting the Judiciary on gender mainstreaming initiatives, including the development and finalization of Judiciary's Gender Policy and the Sexual Harassment Policy;
- Supporting the Judiciary’s documentation of Kenya's emerging jurisprudence on devolution under the 2010 Constitution through a publication developed jointly with the Judiciary Training Institute and key contributors from academia and civil society;
- Providing technical support to the National Council on the Administration of Justice, including programming support to the Court Users Committees at the local court station level around the country, and towards Technical Sub-Committees, including technical legislative support to the Children’s Task Force in developing the 2017 Children’s Bill.
- Providing technical support to the National Council on the Administration of Justice and Council of Governors in convening the Second Annual Conference on the Administration of Justice within the Context of Devolution which culminated in the finalization of a Comprehensive Framework Agreement on the Administration of Justice within the Context of Devolution signed onto by more than two dozen partners, including the Department of Children’s Services, the Inspector General of the National Police Service, the Director of Public Prosecution, Kenya Prisons Service, private sector actors, and civil society organizations.
- Working with the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice, the Judiciary, the National Legal Aid Service and other key stakeholders to finalize the National Action Plan on Legal Aid and Access to Justice.