Criminal Justice Reforms: A Work in Progress?

May 7, 2019    0 comment


The Bandung conference held at the Crown Plaza hotel on November 22nd and 23rd 2018 highlighted a number of concerns within the Criminal Justice System (CJS) in Kenya. These have largely been addressed by the 2015 Audit of the National Council on the Administration of Justice Administration of Justice Committee. The implementation work is being carried out by Justice Joyce Nyenga, of the High Court of Kenya (Criminal Division), appointed by the Chief Justice of Kenya in January 2018.

The introductory remarks of the Audit summarise the findings as follows:-

“Key findings of the Audit confirm that Kenya’s Criminal Justice System is largely skewed against the poor. It is an indictment of a system that is expected to guarantee justice to people from all walks of life, including all forms of vulnerabilities. The Audit found that more poor people are arrested, charged and sent to prison as compared to the well to do. It was an interesting finding that economic driven and social disturbance offences which are rated as petty; such as offences relating to lack of business licenses, being drunk and disorderly and creating disturbance form 70% of cases processed through the justice system. A major concern as per the findings was that, serious offences such as organized crimes, capital offences and sexual offences were found to have the highest rate of acquittal and withdrawals.

This public conference and discussions are designed to widen that debate and highlight the urgent reforms that should assist the development of a more effective criminal justice system that honours the spirit and letter of the Kenyan Constitution. The idea is to engage with the Pan African legal and judicial diaspora community as a resource that can be utilised to act as a catalyst for positive change. The Bandung Conference will issue certificates of attendance for delegates.

The key stakeholders that are being consulted are the former participants of the first Bandung Conference namely, The African Prison Project; The Kenyan Prison Service; The Law Society of Kenya; The National Kenya Police Force; The Chief Justice and members of the Senior Judiciary; the Solicitor General; The Legal Research Centre, Strathmore Law School; Kenya Law School, The Kenyan Diaspora Association, The Inter-Religious Council of Kenya, the U.S. Embassy, and High Commissioners of the U.K., Canada and Australia, the Auditor General of Kenya and leading NGO’s such as the Kenyan Human Rights Commission, Legal Resource Foundation, and the Kenya Law Reform Commission, amongst others.

 

Aims and Objectives of the Public Lecture and Panel Discussions

  • To highlight and reinforce the reforms recommended in the 2015 Audit;
  • To engage stakeholders to ensure those reforms are implemented;
  • To utilise the resources and experience of the legal and Judicial community of the Pan African Diaspora;
  • To share good practice throughout Kenya and the East African region
  • To discuss our strategic response to terrorism in Kenya and the region
  • To engage a community led response to violent extremism.

Dates:‐  

  • First Day: Thursday, November 28th 2019. (Strathmore University) 
  • Second Day: Friday, November 29th 2019.  (Strathmore University) 
  • Gala Human Rights Award Dinner @ Crowne Plaza Hotel, Saturday 30th November. 

Venue:‐  

  • Strathmore University School of Law 
  • Sponsorship:‐ The aim would be to raise corporate sponsorship to cover the cost of the events, 
    promotional material., catering, conference report etc. 
  • Proposed  Delegate  Costs  per  day  =  Delegate  rate  of  5,000  KSH    (8,000  KSH  for  both  days); 
  • Students 1500 KSH per day or 2,000 KSH for both days 
  • Cost for the Gala Dinner and two days conference 12,000 KSH (Students 7,000 KSH) 
  • Gala Dinner booked separately 6,000 KSH (Students 5,000 KSH) 

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