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Council of Legal Education launches 5-year strategic plan

The Council of Legal Education (CLE), has launched its 3rd Strategic Plan for the year 2023-2027, which outlines measures towards transformative legal education and training of legal professionals in the country.

Attorney General Justin Muturi said the plan will serve as a tool for improving efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery, while the process of planning, implementation, and evaluation will enable the organisation to learn from their experiences and improve their strategies and procedures.

The AG, who was speaking on Friday during the launch of the Strategic Plan held at a Nairobi hotel, said strategic plans are vital as they assist public sector organisations to align their strategies, activities, and budgets with national development priority goals and aspirations.

Muturi noted that legal education in the country has experienced tremendous growth over the years, as evidenced by the increase in accredited legal education providers and the increased uptake of legal education at the certificate and diploma levels.

“We must also recognise the challenges that lie ahead. The landscape of legal education and training is constantly evolving with the emergence of new spheres of the law,” he stated.

Muturi reiterated that the Council must adapt its regulatory framework in order to keep pace with the emerging changes and ensure that the legal education system remains responsive to the needs of society and the international community.

“It is important to acknowledge that the CLE strategic plan recognises the importance of developing an innovative legal curriculum that meets the evolving needs of our society and prepares future legal practitioners to navigate the complexities of the modern world,” he stated.

The AG noted that the world is rapidly changing its landscape, characterised by technological advancements, globalisation, and shifting social dynamics, a need that requires legal professionals to keep abreast of the technologies.

He noted that traditionally, legal education focuses on imparting knowledge of statutes, case law, precedents, and legal principles, while the foundation remains essential, which is no longer sufficient in today’s dynamic environment.

“In order to prepare students adequately for the challenges they will face as legal professionals, we must embrace innovation in our curriculum development process,” Muturi said.

Muturi reiterated that the CLE’s strategic objective of reviewing the guidelines and standards is not a matter of procedural formality but also a fundamental aspect of ensuring that the quality and inclusivity of the legal education system are regulated in the country.

He announced that collaboration between the Council and stakeholders is essential since it ensures the legal education system is effective, besides strengthening accountability and transparency in legal education regulation through fostering open communication among stakeholders.

The AG urged the CLE to embrace the opportunity that lies ahead with optimism, determination, and a shared sense of purpose and to work with unity as they strive to solve internal disputes.

“My office is committed to working hand in hand with CLE to address any obstacles it may encounter in fulfilling its mandate. We will together strive to uphold the highest standards of legal education in the country, fostering a new generation of competent, ethical, and compassionate legal professionals,” assured Muturi.

The Chairman of the Council of Legal Education, Prof. Collins Odote, said that the strategic plan articulates the mandate of regulating, supervising, and licensing legal education.

He noted that the five-year plan aims to transform legal education and training in the country since it focuses on strengthening innovative approaches to legal education that respond to the dynamism in the practice of law and seeks to integrate technology in the training of lawyers to better prepare for the technological world.

“Our profession cannot serve clients effectively unless our education and licensure acknowledge the sweeping changes brought by technology, globalisation, and mobility,” said the chair, adding, “Similarly, we cannot improve access to justice without significant changes on how we educate and license the next generation of legal professionals.”

He noted that there is growing concern in Kenya and other countries regarding the present curricula for legal education and training, as they do not adequately prepare students to practice law.

By Sharon Atieno and Gathigia Ng’aari

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