The Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee of the National Senate held stakeholder engagement retreat from 3rd to 5th April 2023 in Naivasha. Among the stakeholders that attended the retreat were representatives from civil society and non-state actors. The meeting was organized to discuss priority areas for legislative and policy interventions and to explore opportunities for collaboration and cooperation.
Katiba Institute’s Institutional and Development Manager, Christine Kuria, highlighted areas for consideration that will hopefully inform the legislative agenda for Kenyans. These include making public participation meaningful as the Constitution demands through progressive approaches that ensure people can meaningfully participate in giving input to legislative proposals and have their views considered. It also calls for sufficient time to scrutinize Bills, the use of communication channels accessible to the public and sharing information that enables the people to understand the issues.
KI also underscored the need for parliament to ensure that laws that are passed adhere to the Constitution to avoid being challenged in court on account of their unconstitutionality. KI also noted that courts have made various interpretations to the statutes including finding some laws unconstitutional and providing guidance on their implementation and Parliament should adhere to court orders on legislative enactments. Certainty of the legislative calendar: Parliament should address the lack of sufficient time from the House on the upcoming Bills that call for our input.
Christine further discussed areas for possible intervention including ensuring compliance with the law and access to information provisions through proactive disclosure of necessary information as well as providing information on important issues on request