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Kahawa Law Court opening ceremony 

Nairobi, 11 December 2020 -  The Chief Justice of Kenya, Hon David Maraga, presided over the official opening of the Kahawa Law Court which was constructed with support from the Global Maritime Crime Programme (GMCP).

The project was funded by the Government of the United States of America with support from the Government of the United Kingdom.

Situated in Kiambu County within the precincts of Kamiti Maximum Prison on the outskirts of Nairobi, this new court is the first and largest court in Kenya dedicated to counter-terrorism cases and related high-risk cases.

The launch of Kahawa Law Court was graced by senior government officials and representatives from the United States Government and the United Kingdom.

Speaking at the function, Hon David Maraga noted in his keynote address: “In any country that respects the rule of law, a fair trial is fundamental. I am very grateful to the partners who have made this possible. We appreciate the financial support from the development partners led by the United States and United Kingdom and the excellent coordination provided by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime who managed the implementation of this project”.

While addressing the Chief Justice and senior Government officials present, UNODC Regional Representative for Eastern Africa, Dr Amado Philip de Andrés, reiterated the commitment of the United Nations and Member States in observing human rights: "These rights encompass the right to a competent, independent, and impartial Tribunal as articulated in Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Kahawa Law Court will contribute to Kenya’s path to advancing human rights for all, while leaving no one behind".

In 2010, UNODC GMCP supported the construction of Shanzu Law Court within Shimo La Tewa Prison precincts in Mombasa, Kenya, as part of a counter piracy project for high security trials. 

The proximate location of Shanzu Law Court to the prison made it popular with criminal justice actors and reduced the time and resources required to move high risk suspects to distant courts for hearing of their cases. Following on from this success, the construction of Kahawa Law Court was implemented. 

Being a capacity building institution, UNODC GMCP, together with Kenya Prison Service, provided vocational training and rehabilitation opportunities to inmates who voluntarily participated in the construction of the facility, furthering their prospects for better reintegration upon their release.

The court projects will also strengthen the capacity of Kenya's criminal justice system by providing a highly secure facility that leverages on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to maximise judicial efficiency.

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