Kenya

Kenya's potential for development, supported by a relatively diversified economy and central role in regional transport, telecommunications and financial services, is hampered by low investments in the infrastructure sector and growing security threats. The country, home to a variety of ethnic, linguistic and religious groups, is undergoing a complex process of political, fiscal and administrative decentralization, under which a large number of functions are being transferred to 47 newly created counties.

Access to Justice in Kenya

Access to justice remains a critical pillar for poverty reduction and sustainable development, and the Constitution of Kenya requires the government to facilitate access to justice for all citizens. IDLO has been supporting the judiciary since April 2012 to strengthen its institutional capacity to administer and enhance access to justice for all Kenyans.  

Supporting Devolution in Kenya

The Constitution of Kenya, adopted in 2010, made way for a new governance system composed of a national government and 47 county governments. Most of the assistance provided to the county governments has been focused on technical support. However, there is also a need to support the preparation of quality draft legislation to the county assemblies so that it meets the constitutional requirements. 

Resolving Electoral Disputes in Kenya

In 2010, the people of Kenya overwhelmingly voted in favor of a new Constitution, following a protracted struggle for constitutional reform spanning over two decades. Under the new Constitution, the elections of 2013 were the first in Kenya’s multiparty history with Electoral Dispute Resolution (EDR) processes in place. With these mechanisms, disputes can be resolved legally, peacefully and speedily – as opposed to resulting in violence or being allowed to drag through the courts. 

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Key Initiatives

  • The drafters of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 saw it necessary to include progressive provisions related to environment and natural resource management. These provisions gave impetus to new laws, policies and other enabling legal instruments at the national and county levels.

  • Access to justice remains a critical pillar for poverty reduction and sustainable development, and the Constitution of Kenya requires the government to facilitate access to justice for all citizens. IDLO has been supporting the judiciary since April 2012 to strengthen its institutional capacity to administer and enhance access to justice for all Kenyans.  

  • The Constitution of Kenya, adopted in 2010, made way for a new governance system composed of a national government and 47 county governments. Most of the assistance provided to the county governments has been focused on technical support. However, there is also a need to support the preparation of quality draft legislation to the county assemblies so that it meets the constitutional requirements. 

  • In 2010, the people of Kenya overwhelmingly voted in favor of a new Constitution, following a protracted struggle for constitutional reform spanning over two decades. Under the new Constitution, the elections of 2013 were the first in Kenya’s multiparty history with Electoral Dispute Resolution (EDR) processes in place. With these mechanisms, disputes can be resolved legally, peacefully and speedily – as opposed to resulting in violence or being allowed to drag through the courts. 

  • Ongoing reform of its energy legal framework has made Kenya a regional leader in promoting policies and laws that encourage sustainable investment in energy development the sector The country, however, still struggles to meet its energy demands. More than 33 million Kenyan citizens live without electricity.Properly harnessing resources, and targeting efforts at making eflectricity more accessible and affordable, would ensure that Kenya’s energy demands were fully and sustainably met.

  • Climate change is threatening to reverse Kenya’s progress on poverty reduction and exacerbate economic and social inequality. In order to build resilience and outline a low-carbon approach to development, IDLO has assisted the Kenyan Government in drafting a comprehensive National Climate Change Action Plan 2013-2017. This technical assistance included compiling a Legal Preparedness Assessment Report and establishing a Climate Law Working Group, made up of law students from Kenya’s leading universities.

  • IDLO is working with the Government of Kenya to advance gender equality across the country and enact gender provisions contained in the Constitution. With an IDLO-embedded gender advisor assisting the relevant departments, a committee has been established to mainstream gender legislation and strengthen legal mechanisms for the advancement of gender equality, non-discrimination and rights of vulnerable groups. 

  • While the new Constitution of Kenya, 2010 provides for the right of every Kenyan to access justice, its implementation is vital to strengthen and support the changes required for a better Kenya. IDLO is supporting the Kenyan Government to implement the Constitution in an effective, efficient and sustainable manner, in accordance with international standards and best practices. This is being done with a view to enhancing access to justice for Kenyans, especially for women, children and other vulnerable populations.

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