Egerton University is working with various stakeholders to strengthen access to justice by various parties in Nakuru county before, after and during the electioneering period.
Egerton University Vice-chancellor Professor Isaac Kibwage said during the just ended General Elections, many stakeholders including the electorate and aspirants benefitted from the civic education and sensitization done by the University’s Faculty of Law and various partners and stakeholders in order to grow the democratic space in the country.
He said the University`s Faculty of Law and Legal Aid Project (FOLLAP) has been working with various stakeholders to help the community to access justice and claim their rights by providing legal aid to them.
The remarks were contained in a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Vice Chancellor DVC in charge of Administration, Planning and Development, Prof. Richard Mulwa during the opening of the third conference on access to justice which began in Naivasha on Tuesday.
The theme of this year`s conference is; Access to justice during the electioneering period in Africa during the 21st Century.
Kibwage said Elections like the last August 9 General Elections give the people opportunity to exercise their sovereign power and elect leaders of their choice and hence uphold a people`s sovereignty, rights and democratic principles.
“Without democracy, there can be no justice and without justice, there can be no democracy,” Kibwage said.
To this end, Kibwage urged the participants of the three-day event to come up with strategies to strengthen democracy and access to justice during electioneering period in Kenya based on lessons learnt from the past elections.
Nakuru High Court Judge Justice Hilary Kiplagat Chemitei who spoke at the event said the judiciary was working round the clock to ensure all the election petitions filed after the August General Elections were heard and finalized in the stipulated period of six months after the conclusion of the elections.
He also revealed that Nakuru Law Courts now had a fully-fledged mediation courts or system that has facilitated a quicker access to justice by various parties and those cases that need to be referred to the alternative dispute resolution identified and referred to that mechanism.
By Mabel Keya –Shikuku