Public Interest Litigation & Consultancy

Why Public Interest Law at MMC Africa Law

Public Interest Litigation, through which the courts are called upon to interpret the Constitution and other statutory provisions, is one of the most effective ways of deepening access to justice and broadening the practice of law as a public good. The Public Interest Litigation & Consultancy at MMC Africa Law exists to accelerate Kenya’s transformation through the realization of social, economic and environmental justice as enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya 2010.

The Constitution Kenya (CoK2010) is considered one of the most progressive constitutions in the world, not in the least because of its comprehensive provisions on the Bill of Rights. It re-affirms the principle of separation of powers and independence of key institutions. Its radical devolution plan seeks to improve service delivery and diminish inequalities by transferring significant political, financial and administrative authority to 47 distinct but semi-autonomous counties. It also laid a solid foundation for Kenyans to experience a responsive, citizen-centered governance and justice system anchored on integrity, equality and rule of law.

However, the constitution’s progressive vision continues to be tested and constrained by many factors including financial and technical resources, impunity and a culture of institutional non-compliance. More than five years since its promulgation, notable compliance deficits persist alongside major violations and denial of fundamental rights, thus undermining realization of the constitutional vision of ethical leadership, participatory governance, equity and redress for historical injustices especially as these remain most prevalent among the poor, disenfranchised, marginalized and disadvantaged groups.

Being activist in nature, the CoK2010 anticipated resistance by institutions, created frameworks for the realization of its promises through a responsible and engaged public and empowered citizens to act individually and collectively in defense of those promises.  The Public Interest Litigation & Consultancy at MMC Africa Law is the firm’s response to increasing demand for innovative non-traditional approaches to sustainable corporate citizenship. We believe it is time to forge new, innovative partnerships across sectors in order to increase compliance and secure the gains enshrined in this transformative covenant.

Our Three Justice Pain Points

While there is arguably a rich diversity of human rights and constitutional causes that can benefit from our depth of expertise needed to deliver high impact litigation outcomes, our justice pain points represent the thematic priorities we are most passionate about and have potential for high impact. Our cause selection criteria retains a justifiable bias for actions that improve the lives of marginalized, disadvantaged, at-risk and underserved causes and communities. Through legal research and analysis, impact litigation and arbitration, policy advisory and legislation support, we work with diverse partners to advance access to justice in three priority areas, namely:

  1. Economic, Social & Cultural Rights {Article 43, 53}
  2. Governance, Leadership & Integrity {Chapter 6}
  3. Environmental Justice {Article 42}

Sample our work

  1. Supreme Court Advisory Opinion No. 1 of 2017 by the KNCHR seeks, among others a judicial interpretation on whether Chapter 6 of the Constitution is an Ethical or Criminal standard, and whether it should form the basic tool for vetting candidates for public office.
  2. High Court Petition 333 of 2017 seeks to protect New KCC and parastatals from unconstitutional Presidential appointments that endanger public resources and undermine principles of good corporate governance.
  3. Central Bank of Kenya case seeking to hold the CBK accountable for regulatory and supervisory failures, resulting in preventable collapse of banks, impoverishment of depositors and undermining socio-economic rights, including the right to property.

  

 

Partner – Daniel Musyoka

Email: dmusyoka@wakili.com