Public Interest Litigation (PIL)

Litigation helps to promote the rule of law, good governance, and social justice; helping courts develop progressive interpretation of the Constitution; promoting high standards of conducting PIL by providing training to advocates and organizations that are regularly involved in PIL work and enhancing collaboration with other organizations/institutions and individuals involved in PIL work. Some of the notable cases undertaken by Katiba Institute in various capacities (as Petitioner, Amicus Curie, Interested Party or counsel for others) are:

  • Promoting openness and accountability in use of public funds by the President’s Office by challenging use of public funds to support partisan advertisements during election periods, which action is prohibited by the Elections Offences Act; see Katiba Institute v Presidents Delivery Unit & 3 others [2017] eKLR. *
  • Promoting fair administrative action by challenging the validity of a directive issued by the Inspector General of Police in 2015 designating Muhuri and Haki Africa as specified entities under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, without due process; see Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI) & another v Inspector-General of Police & 5 others [2015] eKLR*.
  • Promoting free and fair elections by reducing avenues for voter manipulation by designation of constituencies as the locations for the final count for presidential elections; see Maina Kiai & 2 others v Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission & 2 others [2017].
  • Protecting the constitutional rights of Kenyans to recall elected representatives by challenging provisions of in the Elections Act that significantly limited this right; see Katiba Institute & another v Attorney General & another [2017] eKLR.*
  • Assisting a community to protect their right to a clean and healthy environment, livelihood and culture by challenging the process through which the government conceptualized and implemented construction of the first three berths of the Lamu Port and a proposed coal fired power plant at Kwasasi Lamu, both part of the LAPSSET project; see Mohamed Ali Baadi and others v Attorney General & 11 others[2018] eKLR (in the High Court)* and Save Lamu & 5 others v National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) & another [2019] eKLR (in the National Environmental Tribunal)*.
  • Expanding the scope of the right to life in a challenge to the constitutionality of the imposition of a mandatory death penalty for certain offences; see Francis Karioko Muruatetu & another v Republic [2017] eKLR.*
  • Promoting accountability and openness in the work of the National Intelligence Service by challenging the non-operationalization of the complaints and oversight authority provided for under Section 66 of the National Intelligence Service Act; see Katiba Institute v Attorney General & 3 others; Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (Interested Party) [2019] eKLR.*

* indicates that the case was successful in the sense that it produced a positive result for the position that KI took, or for the Constitution generally, at least partially.


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