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With the current political impasse in the Country, law reform is seen to be the most logical step to aid the country in healing the rift and upholding its democracy. Modernization of the law is a fundamental operational principle for law reform. The desire for improved provisions for the better expression and protection of human rights has been raised from time to time not only in Kenya but in the continent.
While acknowledging that law reform can only be realized within a framework agreed with the government and the legislature, law reform agencies have a crucial expertise and hands-on experience regarding law reform-related matters, as well as an extended network of partners that are relevant for legal review processes. These processes may sometimes require time to actualize solutions to the challenges arising from the dynamic political, economic and socio-cultural aspects of a society. Alraesa logo
For this purpose, countries have established Law Reform agencies that basically have a mandate to assist in the removal of anomalies and inconsistencies in the law while providing support for development of new approaches to the law in response to changing social, economic and political circumstances. In Africa, there exists Law Reform agencies established variously to secure the said mandate with Kenya being the Kenya Law Reform Commission (KLRC) with a regional body as The Association of Law Reform Agencies of Eastern and Southern Africa (ALRAESA).
The Association of Law Reform Agencies of Eastern and Southern Africa (ALRAESA) is a regional body of law reform agencies in Eastern and Southern Africa with a mission to support sustainable law reform practices within the region. ALRAESA was established in Windhoek, Namibia, in August 2003. Its membership consist of the law reform agencies of Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zanzibar, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Swaziland, Botswana and Rwanda.
The Association’s work is organized at regional and country level, focusing on the citizen as the driver of change. ALRAESA provides a platform for comparative knowledge in matters related to Law Reform by bringing knowledge to national and local actors on law reform and facilitating dialogue in support of legal review process.
Over the years since establishment, ALRAESA has held annual conferences in different countries amongst its membership, the last being having been hosted by the Namibia Law Reform Commission. The conferences which present opportunities for the ALRAESA membership to hold the Annual General and Executive meetings, have been used as avenues to share details on emerging areas in law reform on the continent. It is in this regard that Kenya Law Reform Commission will be hosting this year’s Annual Conference on the 28th-29th of November in Nairobi Kenya as a platform for the Association to achieve its objectives.
The theme for the Conference is “Role of Laws Reform Agencies in Emerging Democracies” This theme is informed by recent developments subsequent to the determination of the Presidential Petition by the Supreme Court of Kenya which annulled presidential election and ordered for a fresh ballot vote. This, with no doubt, is unprecedented in Africa and the global arena is indeed keen to observe how this scenario evolves. This land mark decision by the Supreme Court of Kenya will no doubt inform electoral processes not only in Africa but within other Commonwealth jurisdictions and the in the world at large.

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