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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.

To win war on graft, centre must hold


Eric Mukoya
The call to protect and dissuade Kenyans from corruption is an overrated commitment. If it were politicians we would treat the same with disdain and disinterest, but from the five most respectable offices in the corridors of justice. 7 th , February 2019 the most powerful offices of justice jointly stated in public to effectively work against corruption. The statement, read by the Chief Registrar of Judiciary came at the backdrop of accusations and counter accusations of who was sabotaging the corruption war. Under the banner of National Committee on Administration of Justice (NCAJ), the Office of the Director Public Prosecutions (ODPP), Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Chief Executive Officer of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, Witness Protection Agency and Chief Justice in the honorable company of the Attorney general assured the public of swift and collaborative approach to scale down graft.
Efforts to kill corruption are emphatic in rhetoric but the outcome is often absurd. The
country has had corruption conferences among other consultations with pledges to upstage the scourge. However, huge financial loses in procurement, county expenditures, unwarranted budget in line ministries, many unnecessary abroad travels for learning by civil servants and state officers, poor workmanship and low quality infrastructure are disheartening. Our taxes are wasted on unsustainable projects, not mentioning local, bilateral and multilateral loans that pile up public debt for which 45.5% of country revenues is given as annual repayment. Without rubbishing the allegations on the implications of a delayed or unpaid Chinese debt, it is quite harrowing to imagine that public assets of national value including those depicting Kenyan identify could be confiscated for such financial borrowing.
This background makes the partnership between the five public offices an interesting
subject. Three questions arise to help us understand the relevance of such collaboration: first, what holds together the commitments? Second, what is the partnership likely to achieve: and, third, why should the partnership matter now? The impatience and anger of the general public cannot be overemphasized. Wanjiku is tired and less energized to believe again. This may explain and justify the timing. The fatigue of ordinary Kenyans is due to complacency of these institutions and the anger, unfortunately to the judiciary, though only an arbiter! it is important for Kenyans to demand alternative and effective approach to scuttle corruption and its agents.
Besides, there is pressure from most obvious and unlikely quarters. A president who promises not to protect anyone engaged in the vice. A former Prime Minister wondering why chicken gate suspects in the UK were jailed yet their accomplices in Kenya let scot free. A Deputy President acknowledging that land upon which seats a hotel associated with him was fraudulently acquired.
This is political goodwill that NCAJ has picked and must translate into multi-stakeholder drive against corruption.
The partnership is welcome however, the following must happen to enjoin public support.
The Director of Criminal Investigations must sharpen investigations and adhere to the advice of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP). The investigating officers (IOs) must
stand the test of time and resist bribes that demean their investigations. They must avail police files when and if required, besides providing witnesses including those who seek protection to the court. In short they must be professionals. Likewise, there must be clarity between investigators of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and those of the National Police Service, drawing a line of who bears the brunt of shoddy investigations in graft cases. The EACC must be aware that raiding suspects houses in the wee hours of the morning will not improve evidence collection. Remember corruption is an organized crime and those who engage take precaution including destruction of paper trail. On the other hand, the ODPP must be told, that delegated prosecutorial powers to the EACC has some responsibility. Framing of charges, presentation of evidence and submissions in an adversarial system requires brilliance and deep understanding of the law. Equally, arresting suspects without sufficient evidence is inexcusable.
Similarly, the Witness protection Agency should be seen to work. The judiciary, must listen with neutrality, giving the law the image of impartiality and posterity, even where injunctions, orders, bail and bond policies are observed.
We celebrate this partnership by warning our corrupt siblings to walk the path of
corruption alone. We understand it as mutuality of minds to slain the dragon of corruption by the excellence of key individual institutions for corrupt free Kenya. Protecting Kenyans from huge financial loses, repayment of public debt not accounted for, poor health and medical care, low quality education, inequitable distribution of government services and blatant abuse of law. We are allowed to trade blame only if our contribution is above board.
Executive Director of Legal Resources Foundation Trust.
mukoyaeric@gmail.com

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.