Wednesday, 05 April 2023 13:33


Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The Council of Governors (CoG) Committee on Legal, Constitutional, and Intergovernmental Affairs held its inaugural retreat on February 27th, 2023, at PrideInn Paradise, Mombasa County under the theme: 'Towards a vibrant legal sector that supports the implementation of the 2010 constitution taking cognizance of the devolved functions; working together and delivering as one'. The meeting sought to provide a platform for consultation, collaboration, cooperation, and consensus building between the National and County Governments on legal, constitutional, and human rights issues that affect Kenya.
In attendance were Governors from the Legal Committee led by the Committee Chair H.E. Mutula Kilonzo Jr, Deputy Chief Justice (DCJ), Her Ladyship, Philomena Mwilu, Speaker of the Senate, Rt. Hon. Amason Kingi, Senate, and National Assembly Legal committees, County Assemblies Forum (CAF), Kenya Law Reform Commission (KLRC), Commission on Administrative Justice, and County Attorneys among other stakeholders.
“The two levels of government, National and County, are distinct and interdependent and shall conduct their mutual relations on the basis of consultation, collaboration, and cooperation,” noted the Committee Chair, H.E. Kilonzo Jr while underscoring the importance of the forum in canvasing emerging issues in the sector.
Additionally, the Chair acknowledged the critical role played by County Attorneys as provided in the Office of the County Attorneys Act, 2020. The County Attorneys are expected to among others: act as the principal legal advisors to the County Government and represent the County executive in court or in any other legal proceedings to which the County executive is a party, other than criminal proceedings; advise departments in the County executive on legislative and other legal matters; negotiate, draft, vet, and interpret documents and agreements for and on behalf of the County Executive and its agencies; and undertake the revision of County laws.
Speaking during the meeting, DCJ Philomena Mwilu reiterated the commitment of the Judiciary to the rule of law and the realization of a functional, responsive, representative, and effective devolved system of governance.
“A key promise of the 2010 Constitution, the devolved system of government captures the hopes and aspirations of all Kenyans for self-governance and participation in public affairs; a more accessible, transparent, accountable and democratic system of governance; and of fair and equitable social and economic development for all peoples and regions of Kenya,” She noted.
The DCJ further lauded County Governments for their continued support of the judiciary in its efforts to enhance physical access to justice for every Kenyan. The judiciary has embarked on an ambitious plan to improve proximity to courts to less than 100 kilometers by establishing and operationalizing a Magistrates’ Court in each sub-county/constituency and establishing and operationalizing a High Court and courts of equal status, in each County.
“The support we have received from County Governments in this regard is invaluable. County Governments have provided the Judiciary spaces to host courts and have also pledged parcels of land for the construction of court premises” added her Ladyship Philomena Mwilu.
The meeting deliberated on pertinent issues including the roles of each actor, how they impact each other and strategies to enhance intergovernmental relations between and among actors; the laws and policies that claw back on devolution with a view of reviewing them; appropriation of court fees and fines emanating from County legislation, as well as prosecution of County legislation; joint capacity building initiatives for actors for effective delivery on their mandates; enhancing transparency and accountability and better allocation of resources for efficient service delivery in the Counties; and resource mobilization for the sector to deliver better socio-economic outcomes.
Stakeholders agreed to work together in ensuring that devolution is implemented in a way that translates into the stated constitutional objectives. Further, they agreed on strategies geared towards enhancing access to justice through alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and bringing courts closer to the people.

Read 767 times Last modified on Monday, 17 April 2023 13:51