Programme to Improve Access to Justice Through Kenya’s Judiciary Launched

Posted March 23, 2018

Chief Justice David Maraga and Mr Bruno Pozzi, Chargé D'Affaires a.i at the EU Delegation to Kenya officially launch the Program for Legal Empowerment and Aid Delivery (PLEAD) to support access to legal aid for the poor and vulnerable groups from 12 counties

Nairobi – 9 March, 2018: The European Union has committed to supporting a new programme initiative towards universal access to justice in Kenya. Programme for Legal Empowerment and Aid Delivery in Kenya (PLEAD) is a EUR 34,150,000 (KES 4,288,000,000) five-year programme which brings together Kenya’s justice system actors to advance access to justice interventions that will ultimately deepen the realisation of constitutional guarantees to the right to equality and justice for all citizens.

“The European Union is founded on the principles of democracy, respect for human rights, and the rule of law and we believe these principles are inextricably connected and one cannot exist without the other.  Its only through democracy that individuals can fully claim and realise their civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights. Therefore, when the rule of law is respected democracy flourishes. Crucial element for the Rule of law is the effective functioning of the institutions within the justice sector including the independence of the judiciary,” Bruno Pozzi, Deputy Ambassador, European Union Delegation to Kenya.

The five-year Programme will target 12 counties focusing on the seven marginalised counties of Wajir, Mandera, Lamu, Tana River, Garissa, Marsabit, and Isiolo as well as five urban centres of Kisumu, Nairobi, Mombasa, Uasin Gishu and Nakuru.

It is estimated that every two years, more than four million Kenyans end up being arrested and detained by police and only 32% of these arrests are charged in court; while, 70% of these charges are related to petty offences.

“Our job in the Judiciary is very clear; it is to render justice to all Kenyans without exception. While there is still a significant backlog of cases that have not been resolved, the ongoing accelerated case clearance programme will see most of these cases concluded by end of 2018. It is critical for all actors to support the Judiciary in its efforts to establish High Courts in all the 47 counties of Kenya to enhance ease of access to justice for every Kenyan.” Chief Justice, David Maraga, Supreme Court of Kenya.

To achieve its programmatic objectives, in addressing the highlighted challenges, PLEAD will support provision of legal aid and alternative dispute resolution. The Programme will further support the Department of Justice (DoJ) to implement its new legal aid policy, and support in particular the newly created Legal Aid Board.

“The commitment of all partners to work hand-in-hand with all the judicial sector players will ensure that the outcomes to all judicial processes are satisfactory. The five years PLEAD will be implemented effectively for tangible transformation and growth in Kenya’s justice system.” Dr. Amado Philip de Andrés, UNODC Regional Representative for Eastern Africa.


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Note to Editors:

  • PLEAD will be implemented by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Kenya, National Commission for the Administration of Justice (NCAJ), Department of Justice (DoJ) and National Legal Aid Service (NLAS), supported by civil society and other judicial sector players.
  • PLEAD will work closely with relevant civil society organisations in providing legal aid through UNDP Kenya’s Amkeni Wakenya as an implementing partner of the new legal aid policy.
  • PLEAD will provide, assistance to the Judiciary, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution, the Witness Protection Agency and the Kenya Probation and Aftercare Service to improve court administration and case management, as well as increase the quality and efficiency in the criminal justice system through UNODC.
  • PLEAD will contribute to the overall coordination of the justice sector through the National Council Administration of Justice.

See detailed project overview for more information