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lrf

LRF has in the last 27yrs established itself in innovations to sustain legal inclusion and access to justice through interventions that premier access to justice as an approach and tool for improved human rights for victims of systemic exclusion.

Our strategic interventions are anchored on: ·         Practical advocacy, ·  Policy negotiations, ·         Stakeholder strategic positioning, ·         Legal aid and legal education, ·         Community organization, ·         Mentorship and coaching, ·         Select topical and issue specific media engagement, ·   Research and evidence building.

Our actions are grounded on Sustainable Development Goals: 3, 5 10, 15 and 16 for which we endeavor to ensure that no one is left behind in legal discourses. We hold the view that access to justice must transcend race, gender, religion, faith, ethnicity and geographical misconceptions.

In the context of the Vision 2030 and Africa’s Vision 2063, LRF continues to press for more legal space and advocate for an improved judicial system, including the institutionalization of traditional dispute resolution mechanisms.

In the context of the Vision 2030 and Africa’s Vision 2063, LRF continues to press for more legal space and advocate for an improved judicial system, including the institutionalization of traditional dispute resolution mechanisms.

LRF’s Strategic Plan of 2019-2023 

seeks to promote dignity, integrity and human security.

 

LRF collaborates with both state and non-state actors including but not limited to The Judiciary, Kenya Prison Services, Kenya Police Service, Child care institutions, National Committee on Criminal Justice Reforms (NCCJR), National Council on Administration of Justice (NCAJ), The Sexual Offenses Act Task Force and Special Task Force for the Review of the Children’s Act.

Delivering Justice amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that began in Wuhan, China late last year and hit Kenya in the month of March, 2020, the justice system has been worst hit since courts could no longer convene to dispense justice for fearing of spreading the virus among the crowds that characterize court proceedings.

This has had a direct impact on inmates that were awaiting hearings, judgments, bail and bond reviews, change of plea, submissions of defenses among others. A heightened anxiety was created as these inmates could not tell their predicament while the judges remained stranded with their services.

Legal Resources Foundation has been on the forefront of championing for justice for all and in this difficult times, we were quick to find a solution. LRF has in a bid to neutralize the delay occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, has partnered with several court stations around Nairobi and linked the same to detention facilities within the county to establish a video-conference solution.

Through this video-conference innovation, judicial officers are able to hold virtual court sessions with inmates participating remotely from their various detention facilities such as Nairobi Remand And Allocation Prison, Lang’ata Women Prison among others.

Inmates in these facilities have received the innovation with excitement and a sigh of relief; since it has brought back to life their hope for hearing of their matters to their logical conclusion.

LRF is committed to continue with this project with more court stations and detention facilities in the country coming on board so that justice is not delayed despite the Corona virus scare.

While at this, LRF upholds high standards of adherence to the government’s directive on fighting COVID-19. The steps we have taken include: Keeping social distance, adhering to the prisons’ and courts’ internal regulations to combat COVID-19, ensuring our staff wear face masks, use hand sanitizing solutions and wash their hands regularly; we also provide face masks for the inmates appearing in the virtual court sessions.

The step taken by LRF in collaboration with the prisons and courts has proved to be a great step at testing our preparedness and commitment to ensure that justice is done even in the most difficult times. This step has helped to de-congest the detention facilities and clear the backlog that was building up day by day in the courts.

Community Initiated Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in Isiolo

Legal Resources Foundation Trust has been working tirelessly to unclog the criminal justice system through the use of paralegals who commit the work in prisons and courts. The paralegals provide free legal aid and assistance to inmates, link the inmates, mostly pre-trial detainees with Justice Actors, make case follow-ups necessary to move stagnant cases, employ innovative Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms and call for improved conditions in detention facilities with respect to human rights. In Isiolo, LRF paralegals (With the support of Swedish Embassy through Diakonia) have innovatively developed a tool being used by pre-trial detainees to make applications to court to have their cases resolved alternatively through the Traditional Dispute Resolution mechanism where community elders amicably convene complainants and the accused at the prison. The outcome of their sitting is then filed in court where it is adopted and the accused is released based on the same. This innovation has been welcomed and adopted by the court and is playing a big role in reducing matters present in litigation and decongesting the prison. To note, such community driven legal instruments draw from the enabling legal framework articulated in Article 159(2) (c) of the Kenya Constitution that seeks to advance the embrace of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to decongest the Criminal justice system. The Chief Magistrate’s Court in Isiolo has been very supportive to LRF’s work in advancing the use of Traditional Dispute Resolution Mechanisms for prisoners through the use of ADR in both criminal and civil cases.

Imarisha Haki Project

The Legal Resources Foundation Trust (LRF) and her partners: The European Committee for Training and Agriculture (CEFA), Kituo cha Sheria, KNCHR and Faraja Foundation, with support from the European Union (EU), are implementing a 30 months project (December 2017 – May 2020) dubbed “IMARISHA HAKI”.   The project seeks to strengthen Human Right Defenders, State and non- state actors to promote structural reforms with a view of reducing torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment within places of detention in Kenya. While the project is being delivered in specific Counties namely Nairobi, Kisumu, Nakuru, Garissa, Embu, and Mombasa, specific project activities are also delivered on a national scale.

Milestones:

a)      Development and adoption of the monitoring and accountability tool in places of detention

The tool was founded on the background of the findings made by the Criminal Justice System Audit, which established that, places of detention are deplorable and fall short of the minimum requirements. The tool currently in use by the National Committee on Criminal Justice Reforms (NCCJR) has assisted in monitoring conditions of detention, analyzing conformity to national and international standards and recommending improvements.

 b)      Training

We have trained 105 Prison Officers drawn from Embu, Nakuru, and Kericho GK Prisons on United Nations Standard Minimum Rules on treatment of Prisoners popularly referred to as Mandela Rules.

 c)       Engagement

We initiated a conversation with the National Police Service towards infrastructural improvement of select police lock-up facilities or cells to align them with domestic laws and international human rights minimum standards.

Prison Officers’ Training – OSF Project

Legal Resources Foundation Trust under the support of Foundations of Open Societies Initiative (FOSI) conducted a training for 25 prison officers in Kisii from 17th to 21st of February 2020. The Kisii High Court Presiding Judge, Hon. Lady Justice Rose Ougo, Kisii County Prisons Commandant, Senior Superintendent of Prisons Mr. Opondo graced this occasion and showed the much-desired support to make the event a success. The 25 officers comprising of 11 women and 14 men were trained on the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules (The Mandela Rules) to enhance compliance in UNSMR in order to improve and promote human rights standards in Kisii GK Prison. The officers were also enlightened on Victim-Offender Mediation and Plea Agreement Concepts and were equipped to help pre-trial detainees in the application of the two. Through partnership with the Kenya Prisons Service and the Open Society Foundation (OSF), LRF seeks to mainstream observation of Human Rights standards in all prisons in Kenya.

Paralegal Support Network(PASUNE)

Paralegal officers with various partners at the East and Horn of Africa Paralegal Summit that took place from 22nd -25th July 2019 at Safari Park Hotel.