Dean and Head of School of Law, Professor
Managay Reddi (fourth right), and CSLS Chairperson
, Professor David McQuoid-Mason (second right),
with Kenyan Legal Aid Delegation members.
The School of Law recently debated the development of a Legal Aid Policy and a Legal Aid Bill in Kenya with a delegation from the Kenyan Legal Aid organisation.
The Law School has a tradition of justice and clinical legal education and the Kenyan group was the second to visit the school this year with the aim of increasing their level of knowledge of comparative systems of legal aid and legal services.
Legal representatives from Kenya had asked Professor David McQuoid-Mason of UKZN’s Centre for Socio-Legal Studies (CSLS) to develop the Kenyan Legal Aid Bill in partnership with a local consultant.
A draft bill was drawn up but prior to its finalisation, the Kenyan committee wanted to visit South Africa to observe the operations of Legal Aid SA and other role players including law clinics and paralegal practices currently involved in offering legal aid services.
‘South Africa has probably the most developed and comprehensive legal aid programme in the developing world,’ said McQuiod-Mason.
During their visit, the Kenyan delegation met officials from Legal Aid SA’s Head office in Johannesburg and its regional KZN office.
The Kenyans also visited Justice Centres in Durban and Verulam, the Verulam Magistrate’s Court, the Durban-based UKZN Law Clinic, UKZN’s Centre for Criminal Justice in Pietermaritzburg, the Black Sash Advice Office, the Legal Resource Centre and UKZN’s Institute for Professional Legal Training.
The delegation will use their South African experience to assist in finalising and passing their Legal Aid Bill along with the implementation of their legal aid programme.
UKZN’s Law Clinic benefited by hearing about Kenya’s experiences in the provision of legal aid in a developing African country.