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Kenya Law Reforms Commission ready and eager to take over CIC mandate

07 January 2016, 14:38 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi - The Kenya Law Reforms Commission (KLRC) has expressed its readiness to take over functions performed by the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) whose five-year term expired in December 27, 2015.

The KLRC Chairman, Mbage Nganga who welcomed Parliament and the Attorney General Githu Muigai's proposal that CIC's functions be transferred to the Commission, said the mandates were previously KLRC's traditional and statutory roles under Chapter 3 of the repealed Law Reforms Commission Act.

Nganga pointed out that his commission and the Attorney General office's primary role is preparation of constitutional implementation laws, hence, CIC coordinated with them in exercising its monitoring and facilitative duties.

"The Commission thus considers the additional role that has been previously performed by CIC in constitutional implementation as not new. It all resonates with its ongoing work," said Nganga.

Part of KLRC functions that resonates with that of CIC include legal, policy and administrative research, review of policy and legislation, legislative drafting, capacity building, information sharing and public education in addition to supporting both National and County governments on technical matters of law reform.

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"Pending the formal policy to transfer CIC's residual functions to KLRC, the Commission has noted varied stakeholder opinions. On one hand it has received huge support while on the other some have probed the capacity and independence of the Commission to undertake this mandate," he said.

Although Nganga welcomed the raised concerns which he termed as "healthy", he assured that KLRC has and shall respect the stakeholders' active role in the ongoing law reform while pledging its commitment to Marshall every effort in constitutional implementation.

"In the period covering the last five years of the Constitution Implementation (2010-2015), development of the constitutional related Bills have been a preserve of KLRC and the Office of the Attorney General with CIC ensuring constitutional compliance and final consensus on Bills arrived at during round-table discussions before transmission to Attorney General, Cabinet and Parliament," he said.

He added that the Commission together with other constitutional commissions, independent offices and non-State actors commits to fulfill their mission of facilitating law reform conducive to social, economic and political development.

A section of legislators particularly senators and the public had raised concern that there will be a vacuum in monitoring the implementation of the Constitution if no alternative body is not put in place to discharge CIC's roles after the expiry of its term.

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