BY KURIAN MUSA
NAIROBI, KENYA: Kenyans can now access the Kenya Gazette online on a friendly user-interface that provides easy search and retrieval of current and past editions.
The online platform was unveiled by the Chief Justice Willy Mutunga through the National Council for Law Reporting.
The NCLR has over the years established Kenya as the only African country, and among the few countries in the world, that provides free online access to public legal information.
Kenya law reports ceased to exist in 1980 and the NCLR revived Law reporting in 2002, ending two decades of practicing law in the dark.
“It is remarkable that the rapid decline in the rule of law, and the shrinking of freedom and liberties in this country, coincided rather neatly with the disappearance of law reporting,” said Mutunga.
The council has made a user-friendly and modern digital platform for the Kenya Gazette.
The CJ said: “This is a great milestone for Kenya and is in keeping with the state’s constitutional duty to provide its citizens with access to quality, reliable and authoritative public legal information.”
Accessibility of the website and the Kenya Gazette will make Kenya a world leader in use of technology provide legal information to advance the public interest.
The CJ also noted that with the online access to judgments, Judges would feel safe and secure sharing their draft judgments as they e-conference on cases, and not be worried that strange individuals lacking in the basics of decency.
He added that the judges will not fear that media houses lacking in the basics of professional ethics, are intercepting and broadcasting their communication.
Through the online judiciary portal, the citizens will have easy access to an accurate, reliable and authoritative source of the text of the law.
The archiving of the legal information was aided by the Rockefeller Foundation.
“I urge the Judiciary and other arms of Government to mainstream Impact Sourcing in the delivery of their mandate,” Said Mutunga.