Esther_Onchana_Presentation2

Report
Background to Law Reporting in
Kenya
July 20, 2012
Nairobi-Kenya
By
Esther Onchana
Snr. Asst. Editor/Deputy CEO
• Kenya - a Commonwealth Country
Independence from the British in 1963
English Legal System
• Westminster-type
constitution
–
Legislature,
Executive,
Judiciary
–
separation of powers
• Commonwealth legal system – Doctrine
of Precedent – Law Reporting
The Legal System
An independent judiciary
•Supreme Court – exclusive jurisdiction to determine
disputes relating to elections and impeachment of the
President; may hear appeals from the Court of Appeal
or other court
•Court of Appeal– Hears Appeals from the High Court
•High Court – Has original jurisdiction, civil and criminal
matters; jurisdiction to hear Constitutional matters and
appellate jurisdiction from subordinate courts
•Subordinate/Magistrates’ Courts
•East Africa Court of Justice – Arusha,
Tanzania
•Court of Appeal – 12 Judges – 7 Circuit
Stations
•High Court – 54 Judges – 18 Stations
•Magistrates Courts – 258 Magistrates – 58
stations
•Over 8,000 lawyers (Over 200 admitted to
the bar every year) – total over 10,000 legal
professionals
•Country Population: 38.6 Million (2009
census)
Transition of Law Reporting in Kenya
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CURRENT STATE OF OUR STATUTES; COPY PASTE
AMENDMENTS
History of Law Reporting in Kenya
1897-1905: E.A.L.R (East African Law Reports) Kenya’s
first law reports.
Compiled by Hon Mr Justice R. W. Hamilton,
Chief Justice of the East Africa Protectorate.
Printed by the Government Printer
Seven Volumes
Covered courts of different jurisdictions.
1922-1956: Kenya Law Reports (KLR)
Covered the Supreme Court of Kenya
Compiled by various Judges of the Supreme
Court of Kenya
Government Printer
1934 – 1956: Court of Appeal for Eastern Africa Law
Reports (E.A.L.R)
23 volumes compiled by High Court judges and
magistrates, a Registrar of the High Court and a
Registrar of the Court of Appeal for Eastern Africa
Covered the then Court of Appeal for Eastern
Africa and of the Privy Council. They covered only
those appeals filed from the territories.
History of Law Reporting in Kenya
1957 –75: The East Africa Law Reports (cited as E.A.).
19 consecutive volumes
covered the Court of Appeal for East Africa and the superior
courts of the constituent territories, namely Kenya, Uganda,
Tanzania, Aden, Seychelles and Somali land.
published under an editorial board consisting of the Chief
Justices of the Territories and the presiding judge of the Court
of Appeal for Eastern Africa.
Folded up after the collapse of the East African Community
in 1967
Revived in 2002 by a private publisher.
1976-1980 - Kenya Law Reports revived
6 volumes
Compiled by High Court judges.
1982-1992- The Kenya Appeal Reports
2 volumes
published by Butterworths,a private entity, under the
editorship of The Hon Chief Justice A.R.W. Hancox.
Included only the decisions of the Court of Appeal of Kenya
selected over that period.
•Law Reporting over 20 years in arrears (1980-2001)
•Two decades characterized by
Restricted access to judicial opinions
Conflicting judicial opinions
Uncertainty in the law
Low judicial transparency
Challenges of publishing legacy case law
•Tracing poorly preserved records – some may
have passed into oblivion
•Conversion from paper to soft copy – many old
decisions not ‘born digital’ or ‘born digital’ copies
not preserved in soft copy
•Typing, scanning-ocr- proofreading, document
conversion outsourcing.
•Reporting on decisions that may have been
overruled (Editorial notes)
•Orphaned decisions - Reportable decisions
showing up after publication – late publication
•National Council for Law Reporting Act, No. 11
1994
•Established the National Council for Law Reporting
•State
corporation
under
the
Judiciary–
Government Funded
Mandate:
“publication of the reports to be known as the
Kenya Law Reports which shall contain judgments,
rulings and opinions of the Superior Courts of
record and to undertake such other or related
publications as it may consider necessary”.
“The Kenya Law Reports are the official law reports
of the Republic of Kenya which may be cited in
proceedings in all courts in Kenya” – s. 21
LAW REVISION MANDATE
LEGAL NOTICE NO. 29 of 2009
Transition of Law Reporting in Kenya
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Transition of Law Reporting in Kenya
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16
Transition of Law Reporting in Kenya
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NCLR Organizational and Operational
Structure
National Council for Law Reporting Board
Parent Ministry - Judiciary
•Chief Justice – Chairman
•Judge of Appeal
•Judge of the High Court
•Attorney General
•Two Advocates (Law Society of Kenya)
•Government Press
•Dean, University of Nairobi Faculty of Law
•A Public Officer
•The Editor of the Kenya Law Reports
(Secretary)
National Council for Law Reporting Management
•Editor/C.E.O.
•Assistant Editors
•Secretary/HR Officer
•Reporters
•Such other members of staff as the
Council may consider necessary –
Finance, HR & Admin., I.T., Editorial copyreaders, proofreaders, typists,
graphic designers…
VISION
To be the leading institution in Africa in providing
reliable and accessible legal information to the
public.
MISSION
To provide access to public legal information in
order to aid the administration of and access to
justice, the knowledge and practice of law and
the development of jurisprudence.
Its corporate slogan is: Transforming Legal
Information into Public Knowledge
NCLR Statement on access to public legal
information
Pursuant to the Constitution of Kenya 2010
section 35 which creates the right of access to
public information, and by virtue of its
membership of the Free Access to Law
Movement and endorsement of the Montreal
Declaration on Free Access to Law, the NCLR
believes that:
– Public legal information is part of the common
heritage of humanity;
– Maximizing access to this information promotes
justice and the rule of law;
– Online public legal information is digital common
property and should be accessible to all on a
non-profit basis and free of charge.
NCLR Strategic Plan
• Strategic Objectives
• Aligned to Kenya’s Vision 2030, Constitution
and the Judiciary Strategic Plan.
• Formulated through a consultative process.
Constitution requires public participation when
formulating public policies.
• Monitoring and Evaluation system – individual,
departmental and organizational level.
Values and Principles
• Professionalism
•Quality and excellence in service
• Accessibility
•Reliability
• Integrity
•Innovation and teamwork
•Transparency and accountability.
ORGANOGRAM FOR THE NCLR
NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR LAW
REPORTING BOARD
EDITOR
EDITORIAL
DEPARTMENT
LAW REPORTING & LEGAL
PUBLISHING
OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT
SNR. ASST.
EDITOR
SECRETARY
LAWS OF KENYA
DEPARTMENT
LEGAL RESEARCH
AND
DEVELOPMENT
STRATEGY,QUALITY
ASSURANCE &
PERFORMANCE
FINANCE
HUMAN
RESOURCES
ICT
SALES,MARKETI
NG,CUSTOMER
CARE
26
27
28
29
30
Internal Processes – Editorial and Laws of
Kenya
• Benchmarking
• Preparing guidelines, workflow processes
for print and electronic documents
Internal
Processes
–
Technology
Infrastructure
• All members of staff have computers and
access to the internet.
• Document Management System – Web
based system for collecting, tracking and
submitting court decisions
• NCLR service desk – procurement
requests,
register
complaint
or
compliment,
customer
queries,
departmental SLAs,
• Improve the accessibility of the KLR
website by persons with disabilities.
Internal Processes – Human Resources
• Human Resources – guided by general
public sector policies and practices.
• Recruitment & retention – competitive
and transparent manner.
• Conduct of employees governed by
principles on leadership found in the new
Constitution and the Public Officers Act
• Training needs assessment
•Development of HR Manual and Career
Guidelines
Internal Processes – Human Resources
• Performance Appraisal - Government
Performance Contracting
•A scheme for rewarding the best
performing employees
Internal
Processes
–
Financial
management
• Governed by principles for management
of public finance - in the Constitution and
the Government Financial Management
Act, Public Audit Act etc.
• Procurement of goods and services –
Public Procurement and Disposal Act and
Regulations.
National Council for Law Reporting - Funding
•NCLR a state corporation and receives funding from
the Government of Kenya
•Donor Support:
•The World Bank
• The Department for International Development
(DFID),
•Swedish International Cooperation Development
Agency (SIDA),
•Governance, Justice, Law and Order Sector (GJLOS)
Reform Program. Financial and Legal Sector
Technical Assistance Project (FLSTAP).
•The Kenya Judiciary
•GTZ
External Processes – Users
• Users are engaged through various mediums –
email blasts, online service desk may make
enquiries, participating in legal awareness events.
• www.kenyalaw.org hosts over 35,000 judicial
decisions, over 600 Acts of Parliament, Treaties, Bills,
Kenya Gazette (1906 - present), Parliamentary
Hansard (1963 –present).
• Customer satisfaction survey
•Advertising through social media and occasionally
on television.
Opportunities
. NCLR has leveraged on its official position to
partner and obtain primary legal information from
the Judiciary, Parliament, Government Printer.
• ICT as the vehicle to deploy public legal information
• Establish a fully fledged secretariat to attract and
retain expertise in law reporting, legal research and
ICT.
• Kenya’s Constitution 2010 and reform in the
Judiciary.
• Innovation – in the information that we publish and
in the manner in which it is published.
Threats
• Parliament could repeal the law one afternoon
• Competition from the private sector in the
provision of public legal information poses a threat
to the Council. The competitors range from
established commercial legal publication houses to
individuals composed of court clerks and paralegals.
• Legal risk associated with publishing information
online. . These risks may arise where the identity of
certain persons such as children or sexual offences
victims involved in judicial proceedings is not
protected.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
ASANTE SANA

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