In an effort to breakdown conceptual structures of legal practice and thought adopted from our colonial and post-colonial contexts– Chief Justice David Maraga, on 28th /Aug/ 2020, launched the Alternative Justice System (AJS) Policy which is aimed at enhancing access to justice and supporting expeditious delivery of justice to Kenyan citizens. The Alternative Justice Systems (AJS) policy was drafted by the Taskforce on Informal Justice Systems gazetted by the retired Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga in May 2016.
The AJS policy will provide alternative forms of dispute resolution mechanisms, including traditional approaches, as long as they:
Do not Contravene the Bill of Rights,
Are not repugnant to justice or morality
Are not inconsistent with the Constitution or any written law.
During the Launch, CJ Maraga noted that; Kenyan communities have, for generations, had their own justice systems that have held, and continue to hold, societies together. With this in mind, the Alternative Justice Systems as adopted in this Policy are community-centered and reflect the lived realities of the people and, therefore, more accessible to people.
Justice will be achieved differently: The AJS system will prevent injustice and reduce harm suffered by people by focusing on root causes of injustice and on justice needs of entire communities and societies rather than just individuals. He noted that the policy is an important guide on the operationalization of the systems, for all the institutions in the justice system sector.
His Deputy, Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu said that ideas and methods between formal Justice systems and Alternative Justice System practices and mechanisms will improve each other and deepen justice provision in the country.
We are eager to experience the changes the AJS will bring to the Kenyan citizens.