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Access to Justice Committees

Established at

Makadara, Meru and Migori Law Courts.

Evaluator: Margaret Murpus

March 16th , 2011

List Annexes .................................................................................................................................... 332 List of Abbreviations ....................................................................................................................... 632 Acknowledgement ........................................................................................................................... 632 1. 1.1. 1.2. 1.3. 2. 2.1. 3. 3.1. 3.2. 3.3. 3.3.1. 3.4. 3.4.1. 3.4.2. 3.4.3. 3.5. 4. 5. Executive Summary ...................................................................................................................... 73 Short Description of the Implementing Organization and the Project ...................................... 73 Objectives of the assignment and Procedures chosen and Limitations. .................................. 743 Summary of major results and recommendations ................................................................... 854 BACKGROUND INFORMATION OF LRF AND THE CUC/AJC ........................................ 1175 Description of the assignment ............................................................................................... 1297 EVALUATION FINDINGS ................................................................................................... 14108 Programme Goal.................................................................................................................. 14108 Overall Assessment of the Implementation ......................................................................... 14108 Programme Implementation process and impact................................................................. 14118 Factors facilitating or hampering programme implementation ....................................... 14118 Success, Opportunities, Challenges, Lessons Learnt And Best Practices ........................... 17149 Meru .............................................................................................................................. 171410 Makadara ....................................................................................................................... 211815 Migori ............................................................................................................................ 232017 Trends ................................................................................................................................ 282420 RECOMMENDATIONS/STRATEGIES ............................................................................. 282420 CONCLUSIONS ................................................................................................................... 282520

1. The Consultancy Guidelines( Methodology)

a) Review and analyse the AJC reports; b) Carry out interviews with key stakeholders within the Migori, Meru and Makadara AJCs; c) Undertake a comparative analysis and recommendations of the Judiciary fledged Court users Committee (CUC)and the LRF AJC concept; d) Identify and document the roles of paralegals in the administration of Justice; Paralegal play a crucial role when it comes to enhancing a ccess to justice . they major they play include 1.The obligation includes a paralegals duty to assist in maintaining the security of court facilities, to refrain from inappropriate public statements, and the obligation to prevent unauthorized practice. 2. An aspect of supporting the justice system is ensuring that its facilities remain saf 3. When making statements to the media with, or on behalf of, a client, a paralegal must be mindful of his or her obligations to act in the clients best interests and within the scope of his or her instructions from the client
Researching legal documents Drafting contracts, mortgages, separation agreements and trust instruments Helping prepare legal arguments, draft pleadings and motions Investigating cases Locating witnesses Obtaining affidavits and organizing depositions Organizing and tracking case files Providing trial assistance
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Challenges dacing paralegals: Despite the major and key role they play paralegals have the following challenges Most paralegals do not have basic materials and equipment like,computers ,desks ,chairs and good tables for effectiveness of their work Paralegals being human right defenders are faced with security issues including getting and receiveing anonymous call from prisoners of their relatives Most papralegals say they induction process when joining LRF was not adequate and therefore it takes them time to pick up on issues

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Travelling within and outside the station is challenging since they do not have floats at their stations According to some of them LRF do not care for them so much.Thery are taken as lower level of staff . their perception is still low on this area

Motivation when it comes to payment or renumeration is concerne.They feel like they have alot of work increament yet the organisation still do not consider them when it comes to pay

They face challenges communicating with the secretariat and when they have issues the secretariat takes time to respond
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e) Identify the role and the intervention of the court users committee with registrars at all court stations Recommendations for the court users committees Sustainability of the CUCs need to be streghened, most would not meet without the support of LRF Deliberations of CUCs are not adequately followed, most of what is discussed remains in paper work CUCs need to be institutionalised so that the judiciary takes it upon itself to manage and fund the process . CUC policy or bill need to be established to make this a reality There is need for cosnsitency for CUC members and especially from the government departments to avoid the situation where the new comers learn the deliberations .This is vital for meaningful participation Sometimes the chair who is the judiciary( Margistate ) are intimidative and therefore most of the members are not free to talk Margsittrates and judiciary need to be trained on CUC concept before it is roled out in a certain court
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Document trends, best practices, challenges, successes and lessons learnt; Go to the web and do the search on best practises and trends on paralegalism and court

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users committee

g) Identify gaps and opportunities for LRF future engagement especially within the constitutional frameworks on judicial reforms. GAPS Opportunities List all the new bills and opportunites that LRF can exploit and utilise
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Our engagement with judiciary is reactionary and not planned While engaging with judiciary we do not use the right judiacry acceptable processes Sometimes we have taken issues concerning a specific station directly to registrar of high court instead of sorting them out in a specific station

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4. Expected Outputs At the end of this consultancy, the consultant is expected to deliver the following: a) A detailed report highlighting best practices, trends, successes, challenge opportunities and strategies ; b) Validate the findings of the exercise in a one (1) hour presentation session with stakeholders; c) LRFs engagement strategy with the judiciary within the new constitutional structures;
Share final hard and soft copies of the findings with LRF


It is therefore recommended that; a. LRF to collaborate and lobby The Ministry of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitution needs to pearhead the development of an administration of justice policy in Kenya. This would address principles of access to justice and public interest education. b. The role and recognition of paralegals within the administration of justice needs be realized through a legal aid and awareness policy. c. The decentralization of the judiciary is essential through the creation of the Small Claims Court and Courts of Petty Session to deal with small claims and petty crimes respectively. These should be located at the location which is the lowest administrative unit and presided over by paralegals. d. There is need to recognize the community justice systems which provide alternative dispute resolution mechanism. In conclusion, these challenges in lower eastern provi
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Table 1List Annexes

List of Abbreviations
CJS: LRF Include more abbreviatiosn


1. Executive Summary

1.1. Short Description of the Implementing Organization and the Programme

Legal Resources Foundation Trust is a human rights organization that exists to promote access to justice for the poor, marginalised and vulnerable people in Kenya. Access to justice is a fundamental human right guaranteed by the new constitution of Kenya and international instruments to which Kenya is bound. The foundations niche is in supporting access to justice and related systems so that they work for those who are made poor, marginalised, excluded and vulnerable in society. LRFS approach has been to focus on strengthening the independence and integrity of both formal and informal justice systems and creating strategic partnerships with actors in the justice and administration of justice. The above strategy has been used to respond to gaps in legal protection, legal aid and awareness, counsel adjudication, enforcement and good governance. To this end the Foundation sought to establish Access to Justice Committees also Known as Court Users Committees and entrenching them as an important component of access to justice. The structure of these committees is in such a way that it follows the hierarchy of the provincial administration i.e. district to province and finally the national level. However the composition of the committees varies from one area to another depending on the specific needs of that particular jurisdiction. The access to justice committee programme is based on the current LRFS strategic plan for years 2009-2013 and a concept paper on access to justice committees. The committees were established as an initiative to promote coordination collaboration and communication among the criminal justice actors in addressing the challenges in the administration of justice.

1.2. Objectives of the assignment and Procedures chosen and Limitations The overall goal of the assignment is to conduct an evaluation on the Access to Justice Committees (AJC) established by LRF in Makadara, Migori and Meru court station and

establish best practices trends successes challenges opportunities and strategies. LRFS engagement strategy with the judiciary within the new constitutional structures. The evaluation looks at the programme objectives, factors facilitating or hampering programme implementation, outlines the successes, challenges best practice and opportunities and gives recommendations. The exercise took over four weeks (4) starting from 9th February 2011 and the methodology used encompassed reference to available written documentation /literature review, direct observation, listening and field visits. The information collected was analysed, further questions discussed, clarified and the way forward planned. The exercise begun with the evaluator analysing the TOR for deeper understanding, guidelines questions for the respondents to be interviewed was developed. The major limitation that the evaluator encountered during this exercise was interviewing some of the stakeholders like the police and the time allocated for the interviews was not sufficient. Most of the actors were working which become difficult to find time to interview them. The evaluator also fell ill immediately after the interviews.

1.3. Summary of major results and recommendations

Objective Role of paralegals LRF strategic plan Impact Gaps Recommendations
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Finding LRFS strategic Plan and concept paper lacks clear performance Recommendation Develop a clear Monitoring and Evaluation system with measurable indicators. Objectives need to be Specific,

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indicators in its objectives. This made it difficult for the evaluator to track the achievements of some of the broad objectives.

Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time bounded (SMART). LRF should consider to review its

strategic plan to realign itself with the current constitutional dispensation. For the past three years, the meetings were not broken into specific The evaluator recommends that in the next year a work plan be prepared. This will take care of the changing needs and emerging issues thus facilitating ease in monitoring of progress and tracking changes in the course of implementation. LRF should fast track the process of setting up the information desk so that it can assist the public.

quarterly plans that would facilitate smooth implementing and monitoring and effective tracking of changes that arise in the court stations of

implementation. Establishsment of information desk at the courts: This has not been set to date and it may The information desks that ought to been set up by LRF that has not been realized but LRF is leading the process is still working on it. LRF managed to facilitate the

The AJC/CUC meetings should be quarterly, allocated enough time and resources and all the members should be involved in setting the agenda of the meetings. Minutes of these

AJC/CUC meetings although not all the quarterly meetings as required and out of these meetings challenges facing the criminal justice system wer as discussed and a way forward given. The meetings were highly appreciated by the committee members but they request for more meetings. All the quarterly meetings were not facilitated constraints. because of financial

meetings to be sent to the participants on in time. The AJC/CUC to constitute resource mobilization committees to explore means and ways of raising funds from other sources. To further engage the judicial service commission to

institutionalize the committees and support them financially. Weak documentation of AJC/CUC: The AJC/CUC which falls under the Administration of Justice programme The Access to Justice Programme improves and documents its

monitoring framework.AJC and CUC

has a monitoring system in place but it is not well documented. The evaluator was only given a monitoring tool report done once for the past three years from two stations (Migori and Makadara) and none for Meru. Two of the AJCS (Meru and Makadara) have not fully realized the objective of forming a task force or subdivision for effective management and follow-up of the committees activities except Migori. The LRF has facilitated capacity building of the actors after an identification of capacity gaps that led to the training of prison officers, general police and administration police on human rights, handling of sexual violence in 2009/2010. AJC/CUC approach to enhance access to justice is not instituionalised by the judiciary, its establishment depends entirely on the respective officer and its effectiveness depends on the efforts of the resident margistrate who chairs the sessions Follow up on issues discussed during the AJC/CUC is very little , there is thefore the risk not of AJC being

are noble approaches that should be documented and patented by LRF before other NGOs pick it up

The AJC/CUCS re-focuses its efforts in forming the task force and


The AJC/CUC should check on the trained personnel to see their progress and to organize for more training.

AJC/CUC should be reviewed and realigned with the Kenya

constitutional requirement and LRF in collaboaration with the judiciary to prepare a bill or policy AJC/CUC
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Within the AJC should be


committee that is tasked with ensuring all the recommdendations are

recommendation implemented

followed up.


Legal Resources Foundation Trust (LRF) is a national civil society organization founded in 1993. LRF initially operated as a project of Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) until August 2000 when it was registered as a Trust under the Trustees (Perpetual Succession) Act Chapter 164, Law of Kenya. LRF exists to promote access to justice for the poor, vulnerable and excluded members of the society either as individuals or groups. The foundations vision is A Just and Equitable society and the mission is inspired by the vision which is to be a resource for the poor, vulnerable and marginalised through participatory interventions and mutual partnerships. The foundations niche is in supporting access to justice and related systems so that they work for those that are made poor, marginalised, and vulnerable and excluded in society. LRF defines access to justice in the context of the ease with which ordinary people are able to make use of the law, the legal procedures and the institutions of justice to determine their legal problems in general and how they are able to claim their rights in particular. LRFS approach has been to focus on strengthening the independence and integrity of both formal and informal justice systems and creating strategic partnerships with actors in the justice and administration sector towards being responsive and effective in meeting the gaps or challenges in the administration of justice. The above strategy has been used to respond to gaps in legal protection, legal awareness, legal aid and counsel, adjudication, enforcement and good governance. To address the challenges of ensuring justice for all the Foundation in its 2009 2013 strategic plan sought to formulate programmatic interventions using four main approaches that are distinct in themselves but complement each other with a view to enhancing social justice. These approaches namely Human Resource Capability Approach, Paralegal Approach and Practice Advocacy approach. Further the foundation developed programmes based on thematic considerations. One of the programmes is the Administration of Justice Programme. This programme has repositioned

itself to address the sources of injustices within the administration of justice system as a whole from the point of arrest through the final determination of cases. LRF has utilized opportunities that have emerged while implementing the Kenya Prison Paralegal Project (KPPP) and scaling up its impact on judicial performance especially advocacy around sentencing, case management and increased enforcement of accused persons right and victim approach sensitivity. This thematic area has been delivered through two projects namely; Judicial Participation Project and Penal Reform Project. The penal reform project focuses on building the capacity of poor inmates to engage the criminal justice system. This project is being conducted by a network of state and non-state actors where the Foundation is the lead implementing agency. This project is hosted by the Kenya Prison Service (KPS) currently based in Meru GK prison, Kamiti Maximum Security prison, Nairobi Remand and Allocation prison and Migori GK prison and nineteen (19) other prisons. The Judicial Participation project (JPP) focuses on promoting communication collaboration and coordination among the actors within the criminal justice system through the establishment and revival of Access Justice Committees. Lack of communication amongst the criminal justice actors led to blame games amongst the actors which translates to delays in completion of cases, delays in judgement delivery, lack of cooperation, coordination and communication and delays in case investigations.

2.1. Description of the assignment

This evaluation sets out to review and evaluate Access to Justice Committee (AJC) as established by the Foundation in Migori, Makadara and Meru law courts and to establish best practices, trends, successes, challenges and make recommendations. The evaluator looked at the programme goals and objectives and analyses in detail the programme activities in detail. Before the start of the evaluation, LRF suggested that the evaluator develops and suggests a programme and a timetable for the evaluation in the three court stations, which was then discussed with the evaluator and adapted. Beforehand the evaluator developed interview guidelines for the Access to justice Committee members.

This exercise took over four (4) weeks starting from 9th February 2011,and the methodology used encompassed reference to select written material/documentation or literature review, direct observation, listening, field visits and interviews to key respondents. The interviews /meetings conducted during the evaluation were; a) Meru Meeting the Chief Magistrate, the District Magistrate 1, The Court Prosecutor, Two (2) Ripples International representatives, the Meru bar association chairperson, the Deputy District Children Officer, the officer-in-charge of the Meru men GK Prison and the officer-incharge Meru Women GK Prison, the liaison officer Meru GK Prison, the District Probation and Aftercare Services Officer and the paralegal stationed in the region. b) Makadara -meeting the deputy officer-in-charge and the liaison officer at the Nairobi Remand and Allocation Prison, the children officer, the probation and aftercare services officer, the officerin-charge and head of security Kamiti Maximum Security Prison, the Chief Magistrate and a Participatory SWOT of the AJC with three (3) paralegal officers stationed at Kamiti Maximum Security Prison and Industrial Area Allocation and Remand prison.

c) Migori -Meeting the Senior Principal Magistrate, the OCPD and the officer-in-charge of investigations, the prosecutor, the District Probation and Aftercare Services officer, the District Children Officer, two (2) officers-in-charge Migori GK men and women Prison and the paralegal officer in charge of the region. The AJC evaluation target was three court stations which are Meru, Makadara and Migori. The AJC were established to improve cooperation; coordination and collaboration enhance access and quality of justice in the criminal justice system. Limitations during the study The major limitation that the evaluator encountered during this exercise was the difficulty in interviewing some of the stakeholders like the police and further time allocated for the

interviews was not sufficient. Most of the actors were at working which become difficult to find time to interview them. The evaluator also fell ill immediately after the interviews.


3.1. Programme Goal

To enhance dispensation of justice for poor litigants and strengthen the capacity, effectiveness and coordination of stakeholders in the administration of justice.

3.2. Overall Assessment of the Implementation

In enhancing access to justice LRF had set out broad objectives. The evaluator spent time analysing the extent to which planned activities were achieved and results realised from the implementation.

3.3. Programme Implementation process and impact

3.3.1. Factors facilitating or hampering programme implementation

To ascertain factors that contributed to or hampered the success of the implementation of this particular programme the evaluator assessed the following key areas: relevance, timelines, appropriateness, effectiveness and impact of the programme interventions. In enhancing dispensation of justice for poor litigants and strengthening the capacity, effectiveness and coordination of stakeholders in the administration of justice; the programme is relevant as it addresses crucial issues like identifying key challenges facing access to justice in Kenya as being inter alia limited access to justice, delays in administration of justice. This resulted in the formation of Access to Justice Committees at the court stations specifically in Meru, Makadara and Migori that brought together actors in the justice system who openly outline the challenges facing them and explore solutions at the local levels (best practices) that can be adopted at a higher level (bottom-up approach). The committees have had meetings where peer

review which is not a formal mechanism but one that offers guidance and camaraderie without the need for such to be put down to policy this has been achieved as evidenced in the interviews done and reports reviewed. When all actors concerned know what is required of them, where one falls short the others peer review him or her. The programme appropriately through the AJCS both at local levels (at the court station where the actors at the three court stations have had meetings facilitated by LRF) to the provincial level where the evaluation notes that it is only Makadara and Migori that were able to hold one provincial stakeholders meeting. None has been done at the national level. The evaluation notes that the AJC/CUC with assistance from LRF has been able to identify capacity gaps that led to the training at different times in 2010 of prison wardens, administration police and police officers in Migori and Meru. The officers underwent a human rights training to improve their competence so that they can perform their functions to adequate levels. Most of the actors in the two court stations commended the foundation for the good work as the impact is felt. The same has not been done at Makadara. The quality of Monitoring & Evaluation including narrative and financial reporting, and programme administration. LRF has a monitoring process in place. The monitoring and evaluation system consists of; -Appropriate performance indicators, -Data collection and reporting system and -Evaluation and review mechanisms

Further, the evaluation found out that the Administration of Justice programme has a monitoring methodologies and evaluation mechanism which is not well documented. The goals and objectives set in the strategic plan and the concept paper on Access to Justice Committees have no clear performance indicators. The monitoring tool availed was for Makadara and Migori done only once and none for Meru AJC. The financial report for the programme with respect to the three court stations were also not availed for evaluation.

The AJC/CUC meetings facilitated by LRF ought to take place on quarterly basis but the evaluation notes that in Meru court station there have been only three (3) meetings in the past year, Makadara three (3) since 2008 and Migori three (3) since 2009. The

threshold of the quarterly meeting has not satisfied because of financial constraints. Further there was no work plan to guide the programme in the monitoring progress and implementation. The meetings are appreciated by the actors, although most request to be involved in the setting of agenda for the meetings. They also request that the meetings be allocated enough time to allow for exhaustive discussions of the agenda. The concern raised was that the agenda is mostly set by the actors from the judiciary and the meetings begin late in the afternoon. The information desk to assist members of the public that LRF ought to have set up has not been fully realised. Most of the AJCS have tried to form subcommittees /task force that would report back to the committees, the only successful one has been Migori, unlike in Makadara that has not been realised. The AJC members highly recognise and appreciate the work of LRF this is an indication of a good working relationship between the two. The stakeholders met during the evaluation perceives LRF as an important organization that addresses concerns relating to access to justice. The work done by the paralegals is also appreciated.

Outcome of AJC SWOT done with the paralegal staff

Strengths Recognition of AJC/CUC by the actors in the criminal justice system Goodwill and ownership from the stakeholders Teamwork Support from the LRF A competent pool of professionals

Weaknesses Transfers of stakeholders to other jurisdictions No consistency in holding of meetings Inadequate funding No work plans to guide the process No proper records kept and documented Laxity from some members in participating in the activities

Opportunities Benchmarking and inviting active members from other successful AJCS Engage with the judicial service commission directly to

Lack of support from the judiciary

Threats Inadequate funding Hijacking of the process by other organizations Adverse publicity and lack of confidence from the public The vetting of the judicial officers

institutionalise the AJC/CUC Document the success stories Participate in the on-going reforms in the administration of justice Develop partnerships strategic with linkages, other

organizations and the public Set up a secretariat to coordinate the activities

3.4. Success, Opportunities, Challenges, Lessons Learnt and Best Practices

Several successes, challenges faced, best practices established and opportunities to be exploited in the implementation of the programme from the three court stations. They include:

3.4.1. Meru



(1) Introduction of the court dialogue cards and box used for getting feedback from the general public unfortunately most people do not know how to fill them, some take them home and are unable to return them back to enable the court to get feedback. (2) Successful construction of a sitting bay for the public at the court premises this has assisted the public to have a place to wait and get protection from harsh climatic conditions when within the court premises.

(3) De-congestion of the Meru GK prison done in December 2010 where eighty three (83) prisoners were released to community service orders and on Probation Service. De-congestion done by the new lady justice lesiit whose efforts to decongest and promote community service programme was aggressive. In 2010 alone, 205 cases were referred and 119 cases were recommended for placement on probation. Out of the above, there was 85% completion. Most were able to observe the orders due to the strict supervision accorded to the probationers. Only 2% absconded. CSO- a total of 736 offenders was placed on various government institutions to perform CSO work. The figure projects a CSO caseload increased by 25.5% from the past year. This means then the courts are utilizing the use of non-custodial sentences. Over 90% of placed offenders were on short term placement with all the six courts preferring one to five days CSO commitment to petty offenders especially drunk and disorderly category.

(4) Currently more days are allocated for civil days. Three (3) days for civil matters and two (2) days for criminal matters. Diary then was at March 2011.


On pre-bail reports, the practice now is that the high Court is requesting for more pre-bail reports as it applies Article 49 of the new constitution.

(6) Through the dialogue established amongst the stakeholders there is an improvement in the delivery of services to the public as there are fewer missing files, witnesses are bonded to attend court on time and the inmates get to court on time. (7) Public awareness has been increased on CSO through a successful chiefs workshop organized by LRF in June 2010 (8) Capacity building of prisons department and police officers on Human rights done in September 2010 by LRF. 9) Through co-operation and co-ordination of the actors children offenders are being separated from adults as soon as its established that they are minors e.g. Kiki case who was a minor charged as an adult. Through the intervention of the paralegal the sentence was reviewed. (9) Strong partnership established with other organization in the region. LRF funded the bar bench workshop together with ripples international out of which a working committee was formed this was after advocates had boycotted court protesting against lady justice Mugo who was later transferred by the CJ. Meeting was attended by judges magistrates and advocates working in Meru.


Challenges (1) Difficulty in procuring representation from all the actors in the meetings and sometimes representatives sent who are junior officers who are unable to make any decisions or answer/reply to certain matters e.g. the officers in charge Meru prison had not attended any of the meetings since inception and have only sent representatives and issues raised in all the meeting regarding transportation of inmates to court had been discussed and no way forward found because of non-attendance or sending representatives to the meetings. (2) The meetings are few and far and some members feel that the venue is very monotonous. (3) The yet to be conducted vetting of judicial officers is causing uncertainty amongst the officers which may directly impact on their job performance. (4) Implementation of the resolutions made very difficult because its dependent on follow up to the headquarters an example would be the transportation of male and female inmates from prison to court. Inmates both male and female are still being put together in police cells at the court premise this leads to a high rate spread of HIV/AIDS. (5) Transfer of officers who are committee members to other areas makes continuity difficult in instances where there is no file that contains the reports and minutes of the AJC/CUC. (6) There is no work plan which would guide the committee the whole year. (7) The prison is still congested as most of the inmates are capital offenders whose cases have not been heard since the boycott by the advocates last year. (8) The area covered by the paralegal is too large.


Opportunities (1) Sensitize the community on the need to understand non-custodial sentencing and acceptance of offenders who have completed their sentences into the society.

(2) Set up a central working committee/ secretariat that would meet to review and do follow-ups on the resolutions made during meetings. (3) Expand the membership of the CUC/AJC to include religious leaders and the ministry of health representative.

(4) For LRF/ CUC to engage the police in actualization of the reforms, most or almost all complains are levelled against the police e.g. missing files, poor investigations , faulty charge sheets etc. (5) Build capacity of the members on their roles and refresher courses on the objectives of the committees for each actor to gain deeper understanding on how each department works to foster partnerships and enhance linkages and networking. Create team spirit amongst the members and to improve the members working relations and sharing responsibility collectively. (6) LRF to deploy more paralegals to the region to march the large population and societys needs. (7) LRF to establish the information desk at the law courts to assist members of the public. To also partner with other local organizations to assist in facilitating the AJC/CUC. (8) Utilize ADR and Community Justice Systems to bring reconciliation this can be done by the probation department when preparing pre-bail reports as they come in contact with both parties except for sexual offences. The police too can utilize the same as they too come in contact with both parties during investigations. (9) The CUC/AJC to come up with proposals for improving the CSO activities to incorporate income generating activities like tree planting, fish farming etc. Advocate for better handling of female prisoners transport to and from court, separation of women and men at the court cells, more orderlies to guard the prison ers and expand the prison to accommodate child offender.

Best practice 1) The Access to Justice Committee in Meru has been able to incorporate a local organization Ripples International into the committee. This organization focuses on the best interest of the child; one of the key areas is access to justice to children who are victims. As a result, there is established a good working relationship that has been created between the childrens department, Ripples International, the judiciary and the police. Children victims now get counselling and representation and cases are quickly dispensed with. Magistrates in November 2010 visited the rescue Centre and interacted with the children, when a child testifies in court

they accused is made to face away from the child testifying, this builds the confidence of the child. The police department has assigned specific officers to handle children matters this has ensured that investigations are handled expeditiously. Children cases for the year 2006/2007 and 2008 have all been concluded.

2) The judiciary now makes orders to remand children offenders in police stations instead of prison as there is no remand prison for child offenders in Meru except the adult prison.

3) The paralegals have assisted the prisoners who are now knowledgeable on their rights and know how to engage the criminal justice system. This is done using moot courts to make the inmates understand the trial process better. The report from the judiciary is that prisoners are able to bring their issues to the attention of the court to be addressed.

4) The practice with regards to traffic offences is that the police are using notice to attend court instead of arresting motorists on minor offences under section 117 of the Traffic Act.

3.4.2. Makadara
a) Successes 1) Stakeholders in the criminal justice system have been able to come together and highlight challenges facing them as different actors. 2) Better understanding of the roles of the other actors in the criminal justice system and how to work together. Before the CUC was constituted there were many case adjournments because of lack of or delay in availing witness statements, witnesses not bonded on time and missing files. This was discussed in the meetings and now there is an improvement as witness statements are availed and are bonded on time hence few adjournments for the above reason. 3) Rapport has been created amongst the actors as there is open communication amongst the members like if the prisoners are running late to court the same is communicated to the courts. There are now fewer summonses to court of officers in charge for failing to produce a prisoner. 4) The judiciary has now begun to appreciate the work of paralegals as the magistrates direct prisoners on certain issues to inquire or seek assistance from paralegals. This has resulted to more prisoners who cannot afford advocates to understand the laws, procedures and to engage

the courts actively. Prisoners now understand the roles of paralegals and are able to get assistance from them. The Kenya Prisons service has appreciated and acknowledged the work of the paralegals three prison wardens have been trained as paralegals to work together with the LRF paralegals. 5) The CUC/AJC has created an informal forum for the stakeholders to establish contacts amongst themselves with no suspicion created or compromising each others work. Thi s has made work easier as the actors can freely communicate with one another. Examples: the prisons department has seconded specific officers to assist the probation department whenever they come to visit the prisons to interview prisoners before submitting the pre-bail reports to the courts. This has enhanced efficiency in the delivery of services to the prisoners. Further the court registries have been streamlined such that there are specific clerks who deal with specific years its therefore easier to track down missing files as its now known which registry officer deals with cases from what year. Mentions after fourteen days are done by magistrates in prison, bond terms are adjusted after presentation of cases thereby leading to decongestion of Kamiti maximum prison. Courts are utilizing the provision of article 49 of the new constitution by giving affordable bail and bond terms to petty and capital offenders. b) Challenges 1) Non- attendance of most key stakeholders i.e. police 2) Very few and far between meetings organized by LRF because of financial constraints. 3) The Makadara CUC/AJC very big and thus the need to form subcommittees which have not been realized. 4) There is no work plan to outline the activities to be done by the actors during the year. 5) Most of the actors do not like the venue of the meetings. 6) There is no proper keeping of records of the CUC/AJC meeting; further the minutes of the previous meetings are circulated very late or even not at all. Most stakeholders do not have specific files for the purposes of keeping the CUC/AJC records. Even if a representative is sent to attend on behalf of the head of department without proper records the representative cannot comment on issues raised in the meeting because there were no records to peruse through before the meetings. Most stakeholders send representatives who are junior officers

who cannot make any decisions or respond to certain matters in the meeting regarding the institution they represent unless they consult their superiors. This leads to matters taking too long to be resolved. There is no consistency in the attendance of some stakeholders as different stakeholders send representatives to represent the institution. 7) No follow ups done on the resolutions made in the meetings, no committee set up that is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that resolutions are 8) There is no openness in the meetings as most actors feel that the process has been hijacked by the judiciary who set the agendas, actors shy away and do not contribute in the deliberations. 9) The paralegals are few and cannot meet the demand of the prisoners. 10) Transfers of stakeholders results in slowing down the momentum of the CUC like the transfer of the chief magistrate Mrs Ominde continuity or activeness of the CUC/AJC is dependent on the goodwill of the judiciary officers at Makadara.

c) Opportunities 1) Establishment of a secretariat to coordinate the CUC/AJC activities. 2) Train the actors on the roles and on the emerging issues. 3) To visit the prisons and organize an open day for the members of the public to interact with the committee. 4) Actualize the subdivision of the committees within the Makadara CUC/AJC since the jurisdiction the court is too large. 5) Partner with other organizations to assist in the funding of the CUC/AJC meetings.

3.4.3. Migori

a) Successes 1) All the actors in the criminal justice system have been brought together, before every department was working independent of the other. As a result of the coming together all the actors have been able to share the different challenges facing them as the stakeholders in the criminal justice system. The committee meetings have provided an informal forum for

communication and team spirit amongst the members. Good working relationship within the departments. Open door policy established.


Gaps are identified from the Interaction amongst the actors.

Questions raised in the

committee meetings are directed to a specific stakeholder. There are no complaint letters to the judiciary from the public because people are beginning to understand how the criminal justice system works. LRF trained officers from the administration police, prison wardens and general police department in November 2010. 3) The CUC/AJC provides a forum for the committee members to know the roles and mandate of each other. This has resulted in magistrates visiting the prisons department on the 31 st may 2010. This had not happened before and it did only after being highlighted in the CUC meeting. 4) The prison is now decongested because of the courts utilization of non-custodial sentences. The prison has a capacity of 400 prisoners and as at 17 th Feb 2011 there were 392 prisoners. Out of the total number 252 are serving their sentences whereas 140 are remandees. Most of the remandees are still in remand because they cannot be able to afford the bail/bond terms given and not because of being denied bail/bond. The deployment of one other magistrate recently has reduced backlog of cases and improved case management. Cases are determined within the shortest time. Period for hearing cases do not go beyond one month. Cause lists are available daily. 5) There is now a separate place that is used to remand child offenders which used to be a segregation block. Child offenders therefore are not put together with adults in prison cells. In the event that a child offender has been kept with the adult prisoners then that is rectified immediately. 6) Formation of task force/subcommittee within the CUC/AJC to do follow up on specific issues e.g. a subcommittee was formed to do visit the childrens officer and the medical

superintendent who had not been attending meetings and to report back to the committee

b) Challenges

1) It has not been easy to bring all the stakeholders together; most do not attend the meetings even when they have been invited like the MOH. Some committee members do not attend meetings or sending junior officer to represent them and some of the issues raised and resolutions made can

only be addressed by the head of department. The aforesaid is seen from advocates and the OCPD, the children department officer and District Ministry of health representatives.

2) Underutilization of non-custodial sentencing as there are only three (3) people as at January 2011 being supervised for community service order and only three (3) pre-bail reports who have been charged for robbery with violence requested from the court as this is still a new concept (from the District probation and after care services).

3) Communities un-appreciation and abuse of the criminal justice system as the cases on sexual offence still rampant in the area , cases in court do not reach conclusion as the victims disappear example given is the Migori boys case where the victims disappeared or collude with the family of the offender for an out of court settlement. The case is adjourned several times until it is dismissed. Follow up on resolutions very challenging like informing the childrens department whenever there are children matters in court or at the police station. This is not being done.


5) There have been very few meetings and far apart because of lack of funds to facilitate the meetings. Meetings begin late because of late comers. 6) Understaffed departments hinder the quality of justice in the children department there is one officer serving two districts and the police ratio 1:3000 in Rongo. Procuring the attendance to CUC/AJC meetings of such an officer is difficult.


Filing of the CUC/AJC reports and minutes not well documented. Minutes of previous meeting not circulated in time for committee members to prepare on time for meetings.

8) Advocates and litigants are a stumbling block to dispensation to justice because they adjourn cases many times which results to backlog of cases.

c) Opportunities

1) To train the police and prosecutors on the new laws and specific areas of law e.g. sexual offence law. The court clerks too as they are judicial officers who seem to have been left out.

2) Network with other partners within the locality in resource mobilization to assist in putting up of a facility for child offenders and children in need of care and protection. The minutes from the CUC/AJC can be used to source for funds to setup a childrens facility. Like mastermind Tobacco Company and the business community within Migori town. 3) Establish a gender desk at the police stations and a public relations desk at the court. 4) Completion of the new court premise would enhance access to justice. 5) Organize an open day where all the actors within the justice system interact with the public. 6) Incorporate other stakeholders from the provincial Administration and, religious organizations to be able to get feedback from the public. 7) The court to utilize the probation and aftercare services department in preparation of pre-bail reports and to also sensitize the public on the law and procedures and CSO.

d) Best practice

1) The Migori CUC/AJC agreed that for them to be able to deal with the issue of unnecessary adjournments because of missing files, the police not ready to proceed , witnesses not yet bonded, the resolution was that the judiciary would prepare cause -lists a week in advance so that all the actors can prepare on time. 2) The probation and aftercare department in fulfilling its mandate with regards to probation and CSO have been able to come up with sustainable activities for probationers that raise funds which is a community service tree nursery. The tree nurseries are prepared by the

probationers and are sold. After they finish the community service the department assists them with seedlings to set up their own tree nurseries. 3) The issue of P3 forms and Post-mortem after being raised and discussed in the committee. The way forward was that a task force was formed from the committee to visit the district medical officer and medical superintendent to request their attendance in the next committee meeting to address issues of concern in this department like the filing of P3 Forms and Post-mortem reports. The task force met with the District Health officer and agreed that the practice to be adopted would be that two days are specifically assigned and specific doctors for filling of P3 Form and performing the post-mortem.

4) In an effort to decongest the prisons the judiciary in the application of bail/bond terms has put in place a system that ensures that the offenders do not jump bail. The court insists on the surety to be a civil servant, who would bring their pay-slip and letter of employment and identification card. The court has also received tremendous cooperation and support from the police and prosecutor who raises objections if it is proper to do so. As a result of the above there have been three (3) or four (4) offenders who have jumped bail (from the senior principal magistrate). e) Lessons learnt 1) Cooperation amongst the actors in the criminal justice system is very vital in the dispensation of justice. All the stakeholders need to own the programme to ensure its success.

2) Success of the AJC/CUC depends on each member of the committee discharging specific duties assigned to them effectively. 3) Coordination and communication amongst the actors in the criminal justice system helps in understanding and appreciation of other actors problems. 4) Most decisions are not made in formal settings its good to move from comfort zones to make decisions. Move from formal setting to an informal one like the CUC/AJC.

5) Collaboration of all actors in the criminal justice system is very vital in the dispensation or access to justice to the poor vulnerable and marginalized people. Collaboration also fosters understanding of how other actors work.

6) Receiving feedback from the beneficiaries of the justice system is very important because there is an opportunity to improve delivery of services.

7) The importance of having interactive CUC/AJC sessions because there is learning and exchange of ideas amongst the committee members and further local solutions are realized.

8) The success or failure of the CUC/AJC is dependent on the goodwill and commitment of the committee members. 9) Creating partnerships and networking is very important once it is realized that all actors are working towards achieving the same goals or objectives.

3.5. Trends

The evaluator recommends that in the next phase, the AJC/CUC breaks the whole year

plan into quarterly plans. Prepare work plans which will act as the roadmap for the committees.

LRF improves on their current monitoring process to a clear framework which is vital for assessing outcomes and impact.

The AJC/CUC quarterly meetings are undertaken, allocated enough time all the actors be involved in setting the agenda of the meetings. Minutes of these meetings to be sent to the participants on time. LRF should fast-track setting up of the information desk in all the three court stations so that the public can benefit.

The AJC/CUC to constitute a resource mobilization committee to explore means and ways of raising funds from other sources to facilitate the meetings. Utilise the minutes of the meetings to source for funds and engage the judicial service commission to institutionalize the CUC.
The AJC/CUC to actualise the formation of a taskforce and or subdivision of the committees for easier management of the committees.

Train stakeholders on case management to improve case flow management and thus enhance quality of justice.


The Access to Justice Committee also known as Court Users committee has an opportunity of addressing some of the challenges highlighted in this evaluation to become more effective in implementing the programme. All stakeholders commit themselves to support the implementation of the recommendations proposed in the evaluation report.

Table 2: Overall Assessment of the Program

Planned activities

Performance indicator



Monitoring analysis sessions of and

and Designate court managers case overseers

case The foundation has None and deployed trained Inadequate staffing level paralegal responsible many activities. as one is for other

to paralegals in all the three court stations to monitor court

management trends facilitate them on administration of justice process.

sessions and case management trends


of Situational briefs

Paralegals who are None point persons at the court stations submit reports and feedback to the AJCS and the public

situational briefs on courts and prisons for sharing with

AJCs and the public.


judicial Paralegal

There is a paralegal None

paralegal information desks

information desk.

information desk in all the three court stations

Development quarterly confidential

of Quarterly confidential briefs developed. briefs

for key justice actors police, prisons and the judiciary. Capacity development advocacy on No of trainings done

lobbying of


justice and change management Public litigation interest No done of litigations

Planned activities

Indicators Performance




and No


AJCs Meru, and Makadara AJC/CUC trainings stake

Migori, None

strengthening of AJC

established revived



of No



stakeholders in delivery done,

of justice, prosecution, holders trained on investigation arrest, case the areas management and new laws.

Develop an open door policy memorandum of engagement (MOE) Develop and or support shadow special regional report and

rapporteur and or

international system Publish information and judicial policies statements and Kenya

Gazette to the public. Establishment promoting scheme and

recognition rewards


exemplary performance/compliance standards justice actors and pro-bono lawyers rooster. Advocate for courts of petty session child

diversion, Aftercare and pre-bail policies and use of ADR mechanism or multi-donor courts,

panel reforms and noncustodian sentencing Develop interest a public litigations

strategy. Annual lawyers and Pro-bono justice No documentation to show this.

actors retreat