Finally Kenya has passed the Legal Aid Bill on the 3rd March 2016. More Kenyans could benefit from free legal representation once the president signs the bill into law. The bill was passed by the National assembly though with some articles being removed during the debate.
The best part of this is the coordination between the members of parliament and the civil society. The Kibra Member of parliament and Kenya Parliamentarian Human Rights Caucus formed a working group that was coordinated by Kituo cha Sheria and Law Society of Kenya and Nubian Rights Forum. The Member of Parliament for Kibra started a Whatsapp group that he used to update the civil society on the progress of the bill.
This gave the group the opportunity to give their inputs for any proposed amendments. Though the notice on when the bill was to go for a third reading was only 24 hours, the members were able to draft the amendments and most of the amendments were adopted. This can be a lesson for future advocacy in the country and how the civil society and members of parliament can work together in pushing for bills and having the voices of the people captured in the legislative process. @staceycram @michaelotto @Lore @Cnior @Purity_Wadegu @Faith
Yay! This is amazing news and I agree a wonderful example of how sustained advocacy and coordination between civil society and champions within government can become an unstoppable force. This really is a landmark moment and the result of years of campaigning and advocacy by civil society in Kenya. I am so glad the Goal 16 meeting last year helped to catalyse this processes and bring new energy to the issue. I hope that others will learn from how Kenya used global discussions on justice in the SDGs to advance national policy. We are working on a new advocacy toolkit to support others to do this, @mustafa_mahmoud we would love to have your insights included in this resource, especially on the coordination you mention in this post, alongside those we have from Kituo.
I look forward to continuing to work with all in Kenya to move this policy victory into changes on the ground - our next goal is to get the Kenyan government to provide funding for paralegals and legal empowerment efforts in the 2017 budget.
@mckinleycharles would be great to have this featured on the website and social media once there is an announcement from the press/government in Kenya. I am sure Kituo cha sheria are working on press that we can promote, am I right @AngoteGertrude?
@abigailmoy you can update the book chapter now! Looping in other colleagues who are working in Kenya to share the good news @vivekmaru @rachaelknight @marenabrinkhurst @jaronvogelsang @kanchikohli @opepeters
Congratulations to all who were involved!!
Yes!!! This is amazing news. The chapter is being updated!
Looking forward to working together to bring this law to life.
Congratulations to @AngoteGertrude, @Faith, @mustafa_mahmoud and all our other network members in Kenya…
This is indeed wonderful news! And we will definitely want to feature it on the website and social media! Please keep me closely updated, @mustafa_mahmoud and @AngoteGertrude. Congrats to all involved!
Good news for Kenya peoples
Yes Abby, we are currently waiting for presidential assent to the Act, then we can begin to create awareness on the Act to the general population we serve in different counties in Kenya. I know it will take some time for the National legal Aid service to set up as well as establishment of the board that will take care of administrative issues. Our paralegals are already asking about the criteria the service will use to offer accreditation to them? Well, we are upto the task.
Congratulation for Kenya in the process of the Legal Aid Bill.This is wonderful and amazing initiatives leading to success.Many marginalized people in East Africa, in their respective countries are highly in need of Legal Aid.Hongereni sana Kenya.
Congratulations are in order. A great trendsetter for legal aid service providers in Africa, am sure. Please keep the network updated on progress.
@Chinga I will keep you guys in the loop
Legal Aid Act, 2016 Full.pdf (567.0 KB)
Just realized that the act is not in circulation and wanted to share it. Feel free to download and share your comments on the act.
Good new Kenya! happy to hear that .we pray that this happens worldwide.
Its amazing for Kenya and Kenyans. As Ugandans especially under our umbrella network for legal aid service providers, we have been yearning for the same. it is somewhere in the process either at cabinet level. how i wish it could go faster so as to benefit the population. most people cant afford a lawyer. Governments need to pick up the role
What can you do at an individual, as an organisation and umbrella body to push for adoption of such policies?
Advocacy at different levels. we turn it into a critical cause for demand whenever we have fora with decision makers like members of parliament. also informing the masses such that the voices at grassroot level can be heard.