International Development Law Organization

IDLO-supported national action plan to boost Kenya legal aid

The Kenyan Office of the Attorney General and Department of Justice presented the country’s new National Action Plan on Legal Aid (2017-2022) for stakeholder review and validation at a Forum in Nairobi on 31 July 2017. The Plan was developed with technical support from IDLO.

Access to justice is a critical pillar for poverty reduction and sustainable development, and the 2010 Constitution of Kenya makes it the responsibility of the government to facilitate access to justice for its citizens.

The Plan outlines a broad policy, legal and institutional framework to ensure sustainable and quality legal aid, and is geared toward facilitating coordination between various actors in the justice sector.

It envisages the provision of affordable, accessible, sustainable, credible and accountable legal aid services to indigent persons in Kenya; promotion of legal awareness; and support to community legal services by funding justice advisory centers and promoting alternative and traditional dispute resolution methods. Once implemented, the Plan will fully operationalize the Legal Aid Act 2016 and the National Legal Aid Policy.

Developed in consultation with diverse stakeholder groups, including civil society organizations, academia, the judiciary, and other key justice chain actors, the Plan will be used by national and county governments to implement legal aid programs and activities to strengthen the rule of law, protect human rights and expand access to justice throughout the country.

During the Forum, the Attorney General of Kenya, Hon. Prof. Githu Muigai, also formally inaugurated the new Legal Aid Service Board.

IDLO has provided technical assistance on the development of the Plan to the Office of the Attorney General, Department of Justice and the National Legal Aid Service since September 2016. Assistance included support to the technical consultant who drafted the Plan, to the technical working group who provided substantive advice, and toward several consultative processes.

IDLO’s work on this project is supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Nairobi and Danida.

Image: Hon. Prof. Githu Muigai, Attorney General of Kenya, formally inaugurates the new Legal Aid Service Board