Kenya enacted the Legal Aid Act in 2016. The aim of this legislation was to actualize access to justice for vulnerable groups in line with Goal 16 of the SDGs. For the first time in Kenya, the role paralegals play in access to justice was recognized.
This is the success story of Wilson Kinyua…
Wilson Kinyua was only 19 years old in 1998 when he took to the capital, Nairobi from his home in Nyahururu to pursue his higher education barely a year after he had just finished high school. He managed to enroll to Strathmore College and all was well for Wilson three months on until one day when things went south and his life took a turn for the worst. After a long appeal process that took years Wilson finally got his date with freedom on Wednesday 13th February 2019 when Justice Luka Kimaru released him together with five of the 11 others whom he had personally represented in a constitutional petition. In an interview with Kituo, Mr Kinyua expressed his gratitude to Kituo Cha Sheria for the help he got through the training he received. ‘’I acknowledge the work of Kituo Cha Sheria especially on their program of training paralegals. It is something they started small but has had a great impact to many people. The trainings on basic legal rights and on court processes equipped me well to represent myself in court and secure my freedom.’’ he said. Wilson affirms that with knowledge comes better self-expression and communication, using the knowledge prison paralegals get from Kituo’s trainings, they are better equipped to support their peers, and are able to grow.