In 2010, the people of Kenya overwhelmingly voted in favor of a new Constitution, which provides for one of the most ambitious devolution processes anywhere in the world and entrenches fundamental rights and freedoms.
IDLO began providing technical assistance in 2009 to the Committee of Experts on Constitutional Review, a body established to lead the drafting of Kenya’s new Constitution. Subsequently, IDLO was invited to partner with the Kenyan government in the implementation of the new Constitution by providing support on capacity building, legislative drafting and expertise in constitutional implementation.
IDLO’s support to the government is aimed at ensuring the implementation of the Constitution is effective, efficient and sustainable, in line with international standards and best practices, with a view to enhancing access to justice for Kenyans and ensuring that legislation required under the Constitution is produced to high quality standards.
This work is implemented in partnership with various legal and judicial entities within the Kenyan government. IDLO has provided support to state institutions from the three branches of government, both at the national and county levels, including:
- The Committee of Experts that developed the 2010 Constitution of Kenya
- The Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution from its inception to the conclusion of its mandate
- The former Ministry of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs
- The Office of the Attorney General and Department of Justice
- The Office of the Deputy President
- The Judiciary, namely the High Court (Family Division and Commercial and Admiralty Division); the Land and Environment Court; the Judiciary Training Institute; the National Council for Administration of Justice; and the Judiciary Committee on Elections
- The Parliament of Kenya
- The Ministry of Mining
- The National Treasury
- The Ministry of Devolution and Planning
- The Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs
- The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources
- The Kenya Law Reform Commission
- The National Gender and Equality Commission
- The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights
- The county governments (through the Council of Governors, the County Attorneys Forum and the County Assemblies Forum)
- The Kenya School of Government
IDLO’s technical support has enabled the enactment of over 50 pieces of legislation since 2010, thus giving effect to the letter and spirit of the Constitution. These include: the four main land laws in Kenya; four pieces of legislation relating to representation of the people; five laws relating to human rights; the Climate Change Action Plan; mining legislation and regulations; and over 15 laws relating to environment and natural resources management.
To further entrench a culture of constitutionalism in Kenya, IDLO has supported programs aimed at creating awareness on constitutional implementation and the roles of various stakeholders, including the development of periodic statutory reports by the Judiciary and key constitutional commissions.
It has also assisted in strengthening public participation including through support to the Office of Attorney General and Department of Justice in the ongoing development of the National Public Participation Policy. In order to ensure the active participation of civil society in the legislation process related to constitutional implementation, IDLO has engaged with academia, various professional bodies in policy and legislative processes, and other civil society organizations for their contributions.
Finally, IDLO has helped review proposed legislation and policies covering human rights, devolution, security, gender equality, land, natural resources management and the environment.