Ann_Asugah_PP Presentation-2012

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PRESENTATION ON
LAW REVISION IN KENYA
BY ANN ASUGAH
HEAD OF DEPARTMENT, LAWS OF KENYA
AT THE AFRICANLII TRAINING IN JO’BURG
SOUTHAFRICA
30TH-2ND AUGUST 2012
WHO WE ARE
The National Council for Law Reporting is a corporate
body established by the National Council for Law
Reporting Act, 1994 and given the exclusive mandate of:
"publication of the reports to be known as the Kenya Law
Reports which shall contain judgments, rulings and
opinions of the Superior Courts of record and also
undertake such other publications as in the opinion of
the Council are reasonably related to or connected with
the preparation and publication of the Kenya Law
Reports" [Section 3].
HISTORY OF LAW REVISION IN
KENYA
Law revision is a statutory power conferred on the
Attorney General of Kenya by the Revision of Laws Act
Cap. 1.
The Attorney General can delegate this power to any
body to carry out the revision under S. 38 of Cap 2.
Where by an Act the exercise of a power or the
performance of a duty is conferred upon or is vested in
the President, the Attorney-General or a Minister, the
President, the Attorney-General or the Minister, may,
unless by law expressly prohibited from so doing,
delegate, by notice in the Gazette…………
HISTORY OF LAW REVISION
IN KENYA
Due to capacity constraints, the Attorney General
delegated the power to revise the laws to the
National Council for Law Reporting in 2007 through
Legal Notice No. 29 of 2009.
Prior to this, revision of Laws of Kenya had not
been done for over 20 years.
This backlog created an industry that is still thriving
called cut and paste
LAW REVISION MANDATE
LEGAL NOTICE NO. 29 of 2009
HISTORY cont.
For a long time, Kenyans relied heavily on paper based laws and
the possibility of digitized laws had not been explored or
envisioned.
When NCLR started its work of publishing electronic law reports,
there was realization that law reports must go hand in hand with
Statutes for easier reference
This led to the digitization of Laws of Kenya by NCLR and
deployment of the same on the internet to facilitate easier access.
Official status.
Some of the issues that arose from this digitization process is if
the electronic laws were official or authentic
Parliament amended the Revision of Laws Act in 2007 through
the Statute Law (Miscellaneous) Amendment Act, 2007 to
accommodate electronically published laws in Kenya and make
them official.
S. 6 (3) of cap 1 states; In addition to the publication of the Laws
of Kenya in the manner prescribed in foregoing provisions of this
section, a Printer, referred to in subsection (2), may also publish
the Laws of Kenya in electronic form.
Any time there is a discrepancy between the written and
electronic format, the written law shall always take precedence.
Powers of law revision.
The powers of revision given to the Attorney General are very
wide.
He has powers to alter numbering, consolidate laws, omit
certain laws, supply marginal notes and alter their
arrangement etc. [ see Section 8 of Cap. 1].
S. 8 (4) however prohibits the Attorney General from making
any alteration or amendment in the substance of any law.
STATISTICS
Kenya has over 600 statutes running into over 28,000 pages of
Legislative text including subsidiary legislation.
The Kenyan laws have not been revised for over 20 years.
There are just about 15 legislative drafters in Kenya and only
about 6 of them in the Legislative Drafting Department of the
State Law Office.
A statistical analysis of the NCLR website as at June 25 2012
showed that ,(www.kenyalaw.org) shows the Laws of Kenya
segment as one of the most visited segment of the site with over
2650 hits per day
LAWS OF KENYA DEPARTMENT
At NCLR, the task of law revision is executed by the Laws of Kenya
Department (LoK) whose major mandate is comprehensive revision
and updating of the of Laws of Kenya both in electronic and print
form.
FUNCTIONS.
1.
Copy reading/proof reading of the Laws of Kenya;
2.
Preparing the annual supplement to the Laws of Kenya;
3.
Updating of Laws of Kenya online using a content
management system (Back-end process);
4.
Uploading of Bills and Legal Notices;
5.
Repository for the index of all amendments of Laws of Kenya.
PROGRESS OF REVISION
SINCE THE DELEGATION
NCLR has so far revised over 500 statutes since the delegation of
the power of law revision including some specialized editions
Some of the Specialized Revised Volumes include:
Grey Book
Family and Gender Law
Commercial Law vol. 1 and 11
Land Law
Public Finance and administration volume
PREVIOUS MODE OF AMENDMENT
OF STATUTES: ‘CUT AND PASTE’
‘CUT AND PASTE’ cont…
Universal Accessibility
The Constitution of Kenya is now very clear that we have two
languages; English and Kiswahili. At Article 7, it states
7. (1) The national language of the Republic is Kiswahili.
(2) The official languages of the Republic are Kiswahili and
English.
(3) The State shall––
(a)promote and protect the diversity of language of the people
of Kenya; and
(b) promote the development and use of indigenous languages,
Kenyan Sign language, Braille and other communication
formats and technologies accessible to persons with
disabilities.
.
Universal Accessibility
In Kenya, in most cases, public legal information has been
produced through hard copy and when produced in soft copy, it
has been deployed in formats that may not be accessible to
persons with disability and more so visual disability
The Laws of Kenya in particular have been published
exclusively in the English language.
No laws have been produced in Braille language for persons
with visual impairment to have access
NCLR is partnering with the Rockefeller foundation to
implement an initiative called PRIDE (Poverty Reduction
through Information and Digital Employment) which aims to
create jobs through what is called impact sourcing
Universal Accessibility
Further, Kenyans have a basic right under the Constitution to
access public information. At Article 35, the Constitution
states;
(1)Every citizen has the right of access to—
(a)information held by the State; and
(b) information held by another person and required for the
exercise or protection of any right or fundamental freedom.
(2) Every person has the right to the correction or deletion of
untrue or misleading information that affects the person.
(3) The State shall publish and publicise any important
information affecting the nation.
Universal Accessibility
Impact Sourcing refers to the employment of individuals with
limited opportunity for sustainable employment as principal
workers in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) centers to
provide high-quality, information-based services to domestic
and international public and private-sector clients.
NCLR has already received a grant from Rockefeller as a test
case for business models in government on job creation
through impact sourcing to benefit socially disadvantaged
groups
The grant will facilitate the translation of laws of Kenya from
English to Kiswahili and convert it to formats that are accessible
to persons with disabilities; Braille and audio
So far, we have converted the Persons with disabilities Act
2003to Braille and the Constitution to Audio
REVISION OF LAWS:
The Processes
BASIC RULES OF REVISION (COPY
READING) OF LAWS OF KENYA
The Guidelines on law revision are spelt out in the Revision of Laws Act,
Cap. 1 (see Section 8).
Copy reading is one of the key stages in the law revision process.
Copy reading involves the physical comparison of text between one
copy and another. In our case, comparison relates to checking for
conformity between the government copy (Act of Parliament) and the
Extracted Copy of our online laws.
Copy reading was previously done in pairs with one person reading out
aloud and distinctively the content of the government copy; word for
word, while the other one checks for any corrections.
With the workload on amendments having drastically reduced, they
read individually the copies with minimal amendments
CHECKLIST IN COPY READING
Content: Spellings, placing of diagrams, etc
Amendments: Insertion of amendments is critical and has to be up to
date. One has to manually go through the hard copy editions of
amendments to see if the statute they are working on is up to date.
Obvious errors are rectified and a matrix drawn up for onward
transmission to the legislative drafting department for their information
Format: NCLR has an in house format of laws that mirrors the
government copies. However, there is a policy shift with regard to the
marginal notes (side notes). We are moving towards section headings to
ensure that the laws are universally accessible even to persons with
disabilities especially visual impairment
Headers must correspond with the Act name and year of revision
Cover page must reflect the Act inside
Revised edition on the cover page must show year of last revision
ACCEPTABLE CHANGES
DURING LAW REVISION
Re-arrangement of ‘Arrangement of Sections’ part;
Insertion of new sections when an Act is amended;
Correction of obvious grammatical errors;
Renumbering of sub-sections
.
Amendments
To amend includes repealing, revoking, rescinding, canceling,
replacing, adding to or varying, and the doing of any two or
more of those things simultaneously or in the same written law
or instrument.
Amendments to the principal part of an Act may come in form
of ‘Amendment Acts’, Miscellaneous Amendment Acts, Finance
Acts, other substantive Acts or even Corrigendum.
The copy read Act must reflect all the amendments to date,
otherwise it will not be up‐to‐date and will be misleading to the
reader. All the historical amendments must be indicated.
Amendments
Repeal is to do away with completely
Repeal is for sections, whole acts and parts or chapters
Delete---is for sections annd new insertions or subsections or
sub paragraphs, or provisos or for a single regulation
Revoke is for subsidiary legislation only; you revoke the entire
body of the subsidiary legislation
Insertion is for the any new additions
AMENDMENTS BY REPEAL
AMENDMENTS BY DELETION
Deleting a
section
AMENDMENTS BY
REPLACING/SUBSTITUTING
Amendment by
substitution
THE TRACKED CHANGES IN A
STATUTE DURING COPY READING
LAY OUT OF STATUTES USING
INDESIGN SOFT WARE
Placing of
marginal
notes in the
statutes from
the word
document
THE FINSIHED PRODUCT AFTER CONSOLIDATION OF
AMENDMENTS
Certification and Publication
The Laws of Kenya department partners with the the office of
the Attorney General Legislative Drafting Department through
the Chief Parliamentary Counsel to have statutes certified after
revising a volume of for final quality checks
All revised statutes must be certified before publication. Incase
of any corrections/suggestions at this stage, they must be
considered before publication;
Once revision of any volume is complete, NCLR may outsource
printing of the volume or pass it to Government press for
printing.
LAWS OF KENYA MATERIALS AT
THE GOVERNMENT PRESS PRINTED
WAITING FOR CUTTING
A FINISHED VOLUME: THE
GREY BOOK VOLUME
ONLINE UPDATING OF THE LAWS
OF KENYA: THE BACKEND PROCESS
One may
type the no.
of the Act
they want to
work on
inside the
box
To amend the
Constitution,
click on it
ONLINE UPDATING OF THE LAWS
OF KENYA: THE BACKEND PROCESS
Type a new section
Click ‘update record’
BACKEND OUTPUT
The new section
appears
SEARCHING THE LAWS
OF KENYA PAGE
Searching using the Act Name e.g. National Council for Law
Reporting Act;
Search using the Act no. or Chapter no. e.g. 11 of 1994;
One can also scroll the whole Table of Contents;
One may use a Key Word; e.g. Law Reporting.
SEARCHING USING
ACT NAME
Type the name of the Act
inside the box and click
search
SEARCHING BY
ACT/CHAPTER NO.
Enter the No. of the
Act inside the box
and click search
SEARCHING BY
KEYWORD
The Different
Categories/Branches of Law
SEARCHING USING
TABLE OF CONTENTS
One can choose from the categories and
expand the categories by clicking on the +
sign on the side
THANK YOU
BILLS, LEGAL NOTICES AND ACTS
OF PARLIAMENT UPLOADING
WORK FLOW
BILLS TRACKER PAGE
LEGAL NOTICES PAGE
A LEGAL NOTICE AS IT
APPEARS
LAWS OF KENYA PRINT
VOLUMES
LAWS OF KENYA
CDVOLUMES
LAWS OF KENYA
CDVOLUMES cont…
OPPORTUNITIES
Delegation of authority for law revision by the Attorney
General;
Donor goodwill to support law revision;
Capacity building from exchange of knowledge between
countries with institutionalized law revision mechanisms;
Existing gap in law revision in Kenya (do away with cut and
paste process).
CHALLENGES
Financial limitations;
Lack of retention of qualified staff;
Human resource capacity: understaffing;
Limited working facilities: office space, computers.
THANK YOU
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