Kituo Cha Sheria on 12th February 2021 participated in a validation workshop for legal aid providers in Kenya. The workshop that took place at Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Nairobi brought together legal aid providers from Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru and Eldoret regions who validated the Terms of Reference for legal aid providers in Kenya who wish to work with the National Legal Aid Service (NLAS).
The issues of the accreditation of legal aid providers and the administration of the Network topped the agenda of the meeting with members agreeing that accreditation of legal aid providers is paramount especially paralegals. This will ensure the quality of the legal service they would offer as well as to ensure there was accountability. Members also agreed that NLAS would chair the Kenyan network with the state and non-state holders being involved in the administration.
Participants also discussed ways in which NLAS could make pro bono lucrative specially to advocates and some of the suggestions made were issuance of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points for the pro bono services they offer through collaboration with the Law Society of Kenya with a special focus on newly admitted advocates, awards of recognition and training opportunities for advocates who take on cases pro bono. Participants from the academia field proposed that law universities were a good ground to empower legal aid providers.
The workshop that was organized by the National Legal Aid Service (NLAS) in conjunction with International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) also saw members discusse some of the terms that would be included in the Memorandum of Understanding between NLAS and the Kenyan network of legal aid providers.
Other issues that emerged were the legal status of the network, financial arrangements for resource mobilization, partnership with other stakeholders, dispute resolution, duration of the MOUS and the administrative structure of the network.
Kituo Cha Sheria was represented by Tracy Wachira, a legal Officer. Kituo in its work of promoting access to justice, commited to continue offering free legal aid services and work closely with NLAS to ensure it can reach as many Kenyans as possible.