Monday, April 23, 2018

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The Hon. Chief Justice Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga on 10th March 2016 gazetted the Taskforce on Informal Justice Systems mandated to develop a policy to mainstream into the formal justice system traditional, informal justice systems and other informal mechanisms used to access to justice in Kenya. The nineteen member taskforce whose secretariat will be based at the Judiciary Training Institute (JTI) is Chaired by Justice Prof Joel Ngugi. The taskforce draws members from Government and non-governmental organisations and is tasked to formulate an appropriate judicial policy on Alternative Justice Systems (AJS) and is to consider the methodology and viability of mainstreaming the same.

This move is in line with Article 159 (2) as read with 159 (3) of the Constitution that provides for alternative forms of dispute resolution mechanisms, including traditional approaches, as long as they do not contravene the Bill of Rights, are not repugnant to justice or morality or inconsistent with the Constitution or any written law. The taskforce engage stakeholders and practitioners in Alternative Justice System through a series of activities in developing a National Model for Court-annexed traditional justice resolution mechanism for possible adoption.

The setting up of the taskforce comes at a time when the Probation and Aftercare Service has been grappling with cases for Alternative Dispute Resolution. The ADR cases emanating from the courts require the services of Probation Officers who are increasingly playing a significant role in this area.

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