Kenyan Legal Firm Establishes a Web Platform to File Election Petitions

It will now be faster to file election petitions arising from the election slated for next week, thanks to a web portal by Kenyan Law Firm Lawyering Africa International Partners. Lawyering Africa has set up an election petitions command center, a web platform that seeks to complete the full circle of access to justice particularly in this election period.

Lawyering Africa which specializes in TMT Law, IP Law, Corporate Law, Oil & Gas Law, among other practice areas has set up the hybrid command center together with its development partner AAY Group, lead by its lead developer Kevin Gitonga, to ensure a quick turnaround in filing and disposing of petitions filed.

Philip Kisaka is the Managing Partner at Lawyering Africa, and he says this is part of the firms’ efforts to ensure ease of access to justice by ensuring that petitioners can file from any part of the country and have access to an advocate on a 24-hour basis. 

“We are following in the footsteps of the judiciary, which has gone digital in most of the processes”, says Philip, “This is also as part of using technology to enhance the access to justice from the advocates side, given that the judiciary has already made several strides in this aspect” adds Philip.

This move comes as the judiciary set up sub registries in Kisumu and Mombasa Counties, to hear election petitions. Litigants in these counties seeking to file appeals before the Supreme Court will not have to travel to Nairobi, as the sub-registries are part of the Judiciary’s pledge to make access to justice easy.

It is indicated that the registries will receive all filings from litigants and transmit urgent matters and files to the Central Registry in Nairobi. The statement said the court is also implementing a case management system that incorporates electronic filing.

Lawyering Africa sees the web platform cutting the time it takes to file petitions as well as client management by between 40-50%, and also cuts back on other associated costs among them travel, office space and printing expenses among others”.  “Although many Legal Tech developments focus on innovation of law practices, it is time we see Legal Tech as a champion of access to justice.” Says Philip.  

The platform is a self-serve platform for candidates who would wish to file a petition following a dissatisfactory outcome in the elections in whichever seat they are running for, or respond to a petition filed against them. Petitioners will have to submit their national ID as well as the IEBC clearance certificate, as a way to confirm that they were indeed cleared to vie in the 2022 elections. 

The front end also features among others regular updates on the case activities, case status and fees among other updates. “The backend is only accessible and managed by counsels assigned to the case. 

Lawyering Africa says the web platform will be the practice post-election, as it has the capacity to morph the system to fit various needs of the legal sector, and even use the platform to assign tasks to lawyers from any part of the country. 

At the same time, Philip sees the use of technology as an opportunity to open up markets to lawyers, who are yet to get recognition in the practice and access a wider market. 

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Kenyan Legal Firm Establishes a Web Platform to File Election Petitions

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Nasra Nanda

Nasra Nanda

Nasra Nanda is a Senior Associate in Dentons Hamilton Harrison and Matthews, a leading law firm in Kenya.

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Gregor Pannike

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Liz Lenjo

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