Kenya's 2010 Constitution, whose implementation benefited from IDLO expertise, had helped build trust and confidence in the country's judiciary, IDLO Director of Global Initiatives Ted Hill said at a public lecture in The Hague this week. The subsequent Kenyan elections, in 2013, were the first in which disputes were resolved in court rather than in the street.
Special guest speaker Sharad Rao, Chairman of the Kenya Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board, agreed that transformation of the judiciary was a key benefit of the new Constitution. The sector had come under extreme criticism over alleged corruption and the inability to uphold the rule of law, and public confidence in it had collapsed. In working to verify the suitability of all judges and magistrates, Justice Rao said, the body had helped reverse negative perceptions. But he acknowledged that the vetting of judges could not be seen as a standalone activity – it was one of a number of measures to revive the judiciary’s standing in Kenya.
The lecture was hosted by IDLO and Leiden University's Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Development.