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Thought Leadership Seminar, Strategic Planning Conference for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Speech: by Sylvie Bertrand. Deputy Regional Representative, Regional Office for Eastern Africa

Good morning,

It's a pleasure to join you for this Thought Leadership Seminar as you embark on a week of intensive thinking about the future direction of ODPP.

As the national prosecuting authority, your organization has an important mandate and forms a vital link in Kenya's criminal justice chain.

ODPP has grown, decentralized, and continues to take great strides towards strengthening prosecutorial services.

Backdrop of access to justice

As the global guardian of the United Nations standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice, UNODC is mandated to support Member States such as Kenya, in upholding the rule of law, promoting crime prevention and effective, fair, humane and accountable criminal justice systems.

Our Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme of the Regional Office in Eastern Africa seeks to implement these objectives through support to major justice reform processes undertaken by East African States.

In this capacity, UNODC commends ODPP on your desire to set a sharp, new strategic direction.

As you well know, despite constitutional protection and policy reform, access to justice remains a challenge in Kenya.

Against this background ODPP has made significant progress in critical areas. We thus welcome ODPP's intensified focus on stamping out corruption because the delivery of justice will remain a high-profile issue in this country for as long as corruption continues to capture public sentiment.


UNODC is delighted to be partnering with you through PLEAD, including supporting your change management and strategic planning process.

As you may know, PLEAD is the Programme for Legal Empowerment and Aid Delivery in Kenya - and it's a partnership between the Government of Kenya, the European Union, the United Nations and civil society that is improving the delivery of justice services and use of alternatives to imprisonment.

The PLEAD partnership is funded by the European Union.

On behalf of everyone at UNODC, I'd like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the generous support we receive from the Delegation of the European Union to Kenya. Mr Perr, we value our partnership with the EU.

Through PLEAD, UNODC is supporting five criminal justice institutions - the National Council on the Administration of Justice, the Judiciary, the Probation and Aftercare Service, the Witness Protection Agency and ODPP.

PLEAD is anchored in Kenya's Vision 2030 and the partners seek four main outcomes for Kenyans:

  1. Improved access to justice especially for the poor and vulnerable, focused on legal aid;
    1. Strengthened court administration and case management;
    2. Increased quality and efficiency in the criminal justice system; and
    3. Improved coherence and cooperation throughout the justice sector.

Together, the PLEAD partners seek to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in the backlog of criminal cases by 2022 and decreasing the number of pre-trial detainees by 30 per cent to reduce prison overcrowding.

Within several years, the combined efforts being supported through PLEAD should result in citizens reporting better satisfaction with the delivery of justice services and greater faith in their formal and informal justice systems.

Moreover, strengthening the administration of justice will assist Kenya to sustain a favourable business environment that will promote investment and job creation.

Effective public prosecution must be integral in those efforts if they are to succeed.

The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint of everything we do. Importantly, the programme supports progress towards SDG 16 by contributing to building effective, accountable and inclusive justice institutions.

Areas of UNODC support through PLEAD

This Strategic Planning Conference is not an end in itself, but an important milestone towards ODPP's change management aspirations.

Work has been under way for some time to provide the evidence base to determine the priority areas for your new strategic plan. Some of you have - for example - been involved in consultations in field offices in Mombasa, Kilifi and other locations.

Ladies and gentlemen, it will be one thing to prepare a new strategic plan. However, the ODPP workforce must feel empowered and equipped to bring your strategic plan to life.

A crucial element in realizing your institution's future vision will be training. ODPP is in the process of operationalizing the Prosecutors' Training Institute to develop highly capable, specialized staff at all levels.

UNODC is pleased that its partnership with ODPP has included support to the Prosecutors Training Institute - which has involved a comprehensive Training Needs Assessment which was validated this year. It may be underlined that the Training Needs Assessment Report contains a broad range of information, including statistics, which should be helpful for setting the future direction of the ODPP. In addition, we welcomed the validation earlier this month of your curriculum framework.

Last week, many of you attended the Training of Trainers on diversion and plea bargaining, which UNODC was pleased to support through PLEAD. I trust that as a result you feel better equipped to return to your regions and train prosecutors and others within the justice sector in the practical application of these measures.

Certainly, you carry great expectations as champions for the national roll-out of diversion and plea bargaining, yet we know you are up to the task of cascading training in conjunction with other institutions.

Other areas of technical support that we look forward to are the development of prosecutorial guidelines on children and prosecutorial traffic guidelines.


There is certainly plenty of momentum for change and improved service delivery. It's your strategic plan. Your future. And UNODC is privileged to be walking beside you on this journey.

On behalf of our team at UNODC, I wish you inspired thinking and a productive week as you learn from the experiences of others, and exchange ideas, with a view to meeting your specific needs to better serve the citizens of Kenya.

Asante sana.