Following the adoption of a new Constitution in Kenya in 2010, its implementation has seen significant improvements in the promotion and protection of human rights, gender equality and access to justice. Nonetheless, sustainable development of the country and strengthened public confidence in the judiciary continue to be key priorities requiring ongoing reforms.
While Kenya's economy continues to steadily grow, it remains one of the most unequal countries in the world (ranked 146 out of 188 on the Inequality-Adjusted Human Development Index in 2016). The country has, since August 2010, been implementing a new Constitution with an expanded Bill of Rights and one of the most ambitious devolution processes anywhere in the world. A large number of functions transferred to 47 newly-created county governments has strengthened accountability and public service delivery at local levels. Looking back on the last seven years, there has been significant progress made over a relatively short period. However, much more still needs to be done to align pre-existing laws with the Constitution and to enact new laws to implement it. Other persistent challenges miring the constitutional implementation process include: corruption, ethnically-based political rivalries, gender inequality, security concerns, and climate change.
Kenya is a Member Party of IDLO, and since 2010 there has been collaboration with the key agencies in the country responsible for the implementation of key provisions of the Constitution, particularly relating to the Bill of Rights, land and environment, devolution, the judiciary, access to justice and representation of the people. A key component of IDLO’s work also relates to advancing gender equality across the country and operationalizing the gender provisions contained in the Constitution.
Kenya has formally launched a National Action Plan on Legal Aid for 2017-2022, the first of its kind in Kenya and in the region.
The national commission overseeing gender and equality matters in Kenya has published model legislation on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), designed to help county governments effectively protect women and girls from violence.
September 1, 2017 – Today’s decision by the Kenya Supreme Court demonstrates that the Kenyan Judiciary can effectively and efficiently handle electoral disputes in line with the Constitution, said the International Development Law Organization (IDLO).
“The ruling is a clear demonstration of why supporting the independence of the Judiciary and investing in building judicial capacity, including to resolve electoral disputes, builds the democratic process.”
The public backlash against the judiciary following the Presidential Petition decision in the Supreme Court in 2013 provides a lesson on the immense difficulties of convincing a cynical public that judicial decisions are based on legal reasoning and not political influence.
(Nairobi, Kenya) August 25, 2017 – In preparation for potential electoral disputes in Kenya resulting from the 2017 elections, and to expand Kenya’s jurisprudence under the 2010 Constitution, a new tool on non-party participation in litigation to ensure fair, consistent and efficient rulings by the Judiciary was launched at an event today.
The legal concept of ‘friend of the court’, or ‘amicus curiae’, refers to the participation in litigation of individuals or organizations who are not party to a case but have a strong interest in its subject matter.
The Judiciary Committee on Elections, JCE, is a successor of the judicial working committee on election preparation, which organized all the judiciaries around the 2013 elections. There were a lot of lessons learned.
The legal concept of “friend of the court”, or “amicus curiae”, refers to the participation in litigation of individuals or organizations who are not party to a case but have a strong interest in its subject matter.
On August 8, Kenya holds its general election to vote for the president along with senators, county governors and members of the national and county assemblies. While the 2007 Kenya elections saw much violence and unrest, the 2013 elections were relatively peaceful.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) kill 15 million people between the ages of 30 and 69, and over 86 per cent of these "premature" deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.The economic impact, including loss of income by people harmed by NCDs, the costs of treatment, and the impacts on families threaten international development. Through regulation and fiscal reforms, countries can promote healthy diets, physical activity, and other initiatives reducing the prevalence and harms of NCDs.
Traditionally under the remit of environmentalists alone, biodiversity has now been recognized in the 2030 Agenda as a key element of global development that should be integrated across all sectors. Kenya’s Constitution includes provisions related to environment and natural resource management, which has given impetus to new laws, policies and other enabling legal instruments at the national and county levels.
The Constitution of Kenya requires the Government to facilitate access to justice for all citizens, as it remains a critical pillar for poverty reduction and sustainable development. To this end, IDLO has been supporting the Kenyan judiciary since April 2012 to strengthen its capacity to administer and enhance access to justice for all Kenyans.