Partnering With the National Council for Law Reporting (Kenya Law) to Support Justice Defenders
Justice Defenders (“JD”), (formerly known as the African Prisons Project), is a charitable movement and organization which was founded by Alexander McLean in 2007 after a visit to Uganda in which he encountered deplorable prison conditions and the indignity that prisoners were subjected to. The African Prisons Project was initially geared at improving the conditions of prisons in Africa. However, in 2017 the focus shifted to providing access to justice. The Organization realized that no matter what they did to improve the welfare of people in prison, if they did not have justice, they would not have peace. Therefore in 2020, they rebranded and relaunched as Justice Defenders.
Justice Defenders was therefore, now geared towards equipping the defenceless communities with legal training to defend themselves and others. JD aims at bridging the justice gap by bringing dignity to those behind bars by equipping its members with the necessary skills to facilitate a just legal process, offering a quality legal education to men and women within the prison system and providing free, high-quality legal clinics and services to those without access to critical legal services within their community.
In 2021, Oraro and Company Advocates and National Council for Law Reporting (Kenya Law) entered into a partnership with Justice Defenders to organize prison visits to various prisons that Justice Defenders has a presence in, with the aim of enhancing access to justice through the training and sensitization of inmates on resources available to them in their pursuit of justice.
Through this partnership, we were able to visit the Langata Women’s Prison, the Thika Main Prison and Thika Women’s Prison. Our team imparted key skills with respect to court etiquette, legal research, and legal procedure, which are necessary for the inmates to represent themselves in instances where they have no legal representation. This is because the paralegals play a key role in case planning, legal research, drafting pleadings, fact checking, information retrieval and providing legal assistance and sensitizing the inmates.
By partnering with JD and Kenya Law, we seek to leave an impact on those who lack legal representation and ensure the access to justice by all citizens in Kenya.