A view shows the Judiciary entrance of the Supreme Court building in Nairobi, Kenya/ REUTERS
NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 12 – The Judiciary of Kenya has extended its capacity building partnership with Attorney General Alliance (AGA) Africa in a new MoU signing.
The new agreement will support sharing of knowledge and experiences, development and strengthening of human and institutional capacity, as well as access to and exchange of information between the two entities.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Kenya’s Chief Justice Martha Koome said the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding between JTI and AGA-Africa is coming at an opportune time when the judiciary is embarking on revamping judicial education and training.
“It is therefore great to have AGA-Africa on board as our first partner in this journey into a bold future for judicial education in Kenya, the vision for the Judiciary, realisation of the dream of establishing an accessible, efficient, expeditious, cost-effective, and fair system of justice was anchored on having an inspired team of judges, judicial officers and Judiciary staff committed to excellence in the delivery of justice,” she explained.
The signing of the MoU was done by the Director of Judiciary Training Institute (JTL), Supreme Court Judge Smokin Wanjala, and AGA-Africa Board member Markus Green.
Under the new MoU both entities will cooperate in the development of a physical and electronic JTI library, publication of annual or biannual journals covering diverse aspects of jurisprudence growth, intellectual dialogues, and pioneering thought leadership.
The agreement will also see Supreme Court and Court of Appeal Judges trained on transnational organised crime and election dispute resolution ahead of the 2022 General Election. The training sessions will be extended to law clerks and legal researchers who support the judges.
Other cooperation areas include holding regional judicial dialogues in transnational organised crime as well as exchange and mentorship programs between the Judiciary of Kenya and other jurisdictions across Africa and globally.
The MoU replaces a 2019 agreement with the then Conference of Western Attorneys General of the United States of America (now Attorney General Alliance), which is a bipartisan group originally of Western States but currently represents an association of Attorneys General, Federal, State and foreign officials, public and private sector partners throughout the world, including Africa.
“We do know that as a result of our geographical location as well as other economic factors, Kenya is a hub for international crimes including terrorism, trafficking, money laundering and cybercrime. This fact creates an essential requirement to intensify and continue the judges’ and magistrates’ sensitisation on this very important topic,” Justice Wanjala said during signing of the agreement.
He elaborated that in the three-year period, JTI in collaboration with AGA Africa “has trained over 100 judges from various courts on cybercrime and electronic evidence and over 130 magistrates in human trafficking.”
JTI is mandated to coordinate continuous judicial education for judges, judicial officers, Judiciary staff and conduct research and develop draft policy relevant to the administration of justice. The training institute is also tasked with spearheading constructive engagement and feedback with stakeholders and other Arms of Government on behalf of the Judiciary.
On its part, AGA-Africa seeks to establish and foster robust relationships with justice and law enforcement agencies throughout Africa, to support the rule of law and combat transnational criminal activities. We are cognizant of the fact that cross-border crime does not respect borders.
AGA-Africa has a presence in Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia.
“Our work has allowed us to collaborate with law enforcement agencies on the continent sharing best practices on a variety of transnational crime areas including, forensics, cybercrime, counterfeit drugs, human trafficking, wildlife trafficking, money laundering, and asset forfeiture, virtual currency and countering corruption,” Green explained.