ACCESS TO JUSTICE PROGRAM
The principle of rule of law demands that there should be equality before the law. Equality before the law is however meaningless without access to, and availability of means for formal access to the justice system, knowledge of legal rights and obligations, and the ability to claim these rights and effectively represent one’s interest regarding obligations.
Through our Access to Justice program, we aim, therefore, to ensure that all persons have equal access to justice. Through the use of innovative technology, we intend to teach communities the law, their rights and responsibilities and consequently empower them to articulate their rights and effectively realise them by demanding justice, accountability and effective remedies at all levels. We further seek to stand out as the community legal awareness arm of the organization where pro-bono lawyers, law students and dedicated community leaders converge, interact with communities and meet players in the criminal justice system for impactful interventions on issues facing society.
- Kenya Innocence Project seeks to initiate criminal justice reform through policy work while working for the exoneration of wrongfully convicted persons. We also aim to support their re-entry into society upon release. This pillar thus seeks to develop and run criminal justice themed programs related to criminal justice reform, including development of policy briefs, research and offering technical and legal assistance in strategic litigation cases touching on miscarriage of justice.
- Sheria Mashinani (grassroots law) is the stand out community legal awareness arm of the organization where pro-bono lawyers, law students and dedicated community leaders converge to teach communities the law, their rights and responsibilites . Legal Awareness is important in empowering people to understand their rights and responsibilities and in turn demand justice, accountability and effective remedies at all levels. A lack of understanding, particularly an understanding of their rights and obligations under the law causes a number of Kenyans, especially those in the informal settlements to lose out on opportunities they deserve, and often suffer detriments.
Together with our partners from the Strathmore Law Clinic, we, through the Sheria Mashinani pillar empower community members with such awareness in order to improve the potential of the community and contribute to the reduction and ultimate prevention of crime within the communities. The program guides its beneficiaries to host legal awareness sessions within their own communities and in most instances, act as a voice for the community in interactions with players in the criminal justice system for impactful interventions on issues facing society.
- Sheria Mkononi (law on the go) leverages on, and uses innovative technology to equip and impact citizens and visitors with basic laws and regulations in the country.Lack of access to effective legal representation is not the only access to justice issue facing low-income individuals and families. For those who choose to represent themselves, court costs and filing fees can be a barrier to obtaining justice. It can also be difficult to find information on simple procedural issues, like when and where to file a lawsuit, what rights you have in court, or, when it comes to criminal or traffic offences, your rights before, during and after the arrest.Sheria Mkononi thus seeks to deal with this by simplifying the law and legal procedures and making this information available to all at the click of a button. The primary purpose of this pillar is therefore to allow people to find legal information, assistance and advice as and when they need it and at minimal to no cost to them.