The purpose of this department is to coordinate the Commission’s redress mechanisms for established human rights violations. It is empowered to do this by Section 8(d) of the KNCHR Act 2011, and also by the general enabling provisions of Section 8(i) and (j) of the Act.
The redress mechanisms adopted by the Commission in this regard include:
Human Rights Litigation
Coordinating the Commission’s Public Inquiries on specific human rights themes and;
Conducting Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in appropriate circumstances.
In addition, the Redress department undertakes Legal Services for the Commission, such as providing general legal counsel, drawing of contracts and handling court matters on behalf of the Commission to ensure it meets its objectives as an efficient and effective institution.
Coordinating the commission’s public inquiries
A public inquiry is an inquiry into a systemic human rights problem in which the public in general is invited to participate and/or in which the greater part of the evidence is given in public and available for public inspection. This means that the inquiry’s processes (e.g. hearings, meetings, and submissions) as well as the inquiry report are open to the public and to the media. The Commission’s inquiry mandate is derived from Article 8 of the KNCHR Act 2011 which empowers it to take appropriate steps to secure appropriate redress where rights are violated.
KNCHR’s inquiry report are shared with the relevant Government departments, Parliament and with key stakeholders for implementation. The reports are also made available for public access.
The Commission has so far conducted the following inquiries:
- Public Inquiry on Sexual and Reproductive Health-2011
- Public Inquiry on Insecurity-2008
- Public Inquiry into the Salt manufacture sector in Malindi.
Conducting alternative dispute resolution (ADR)
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) refers to the range of procedures that serve as an alternative to litigation for the resolution of disputes and generally involves the assistance of an impartial third party. ADR preserves and enhances relationships which may otherwise be strained or damaged by the adversarial process in litigation and facilitates a more acceptable and wide variety of settlements that are creative, satisfactory and durable than those offered by the courts. The available ADR mechanisms include mediation, negotiations and arbitration.
We derive our mandate to conduct ADR from section 29(2) of the KNCHR Act 2011 which provides that the Commission shall endeavor to resolve any matter brought before it by conciliation, mediation or negotiation.
Human rights litigation
KNCHR Conducts litigation in appropriate cases involving the interpretation of the Bill of Rights. The Commission takes up cases that are either of broad public interest or that would have a significant impact on the legal discourse of human rights in Kenya. The case should also have a strategic goal such as setting up legal precedents, highlight a discriminatory position in the law or one that would lend weight to legal reforms. In this regard, the Commission participates in Public Interest Litigation either as amicus curiae(friend of court) or as a Petitioner under article 22 of the Constitution.