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EU Gives Kenya Ksh945 Million for Poor Kenyans; How to Access

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The European Union (EU) has approved a Ksh945 million grant (7.25 million euros) for the government to provide legal services to poor Kenyans.

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The funding will be channeled through the Legal Enforcement and Assistance Program (PLEAD) which will be the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa.

PLEAD is being implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Kenya, the National Commission for the Rule of Law (NCAJ), the Legal Department (DoJ) and the National Legal Aid (NLAS), supported by civil society organizations and other judicial sector players

“PLEAD’s main goal is to strengthen legislation as the best way to address insecurity, conflicts, and socio-economic grievances in Kenya,” the EU said.

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The expected results of the program are; access to legal aid, especially in isolated and high-risk counties, is being improved.

In 2018, the EU provided Kenya with Ksh 4.2 billion towards universal access to justice through Kenya through the PLEAD program.

The National Legal Aid Service (NLAS) is an agency under the office of the Attorney General and the Legal Department.

Legal aid is a matter of human rights, and our goal is to provide a fair, affordable and effective legal awareness and program of legal aid services that enhances universal access to justice.

In order to receive a legal aid grant, a person must apply for the service by filling out a form as prescribed under the Legal Aid (general) regulations 2020 regulations.

Lawyers who also want to offer their services as legal aid providers are also expected to apply using the same process.

Depending on the nature of the case, the service may provide legal assistance to the person being assisted provided that he or she makes a financial contribution to the fund.

NLAS will also charge fees for the approval of various legal service providers in accordance with the fee schedule in the Legal Aid (general) regulations 2020 regulations.

The offices are located in five regions; Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa, Uasin Gishu, Nakuru and Eldoret.

EU support comes at a time when the Court is facing a backlog of cases and is also changing its leadership. The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) appointed Judge Martha Koome as the first female Chief Justice in April 2021.

Koome, who will be examined by Parliament before being sworn in, will succeed Retired Judge David Maraga, whose term expired in January 2021.

During his interview, Judge Koome said he would use his 33-year experience as a member of the Court to change the court. Its priorities include reducing the backlog of cases by facilitating the appointment of additional judges and magistrates, implementing the Judiciary Fund to promote its independence, promoting the use of technology and building additional courts.

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