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Ministry of Justice, National Cohesion & Constitutional Affairs


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The Governance, Justice, Law and Order Sector is Kenya’s most ambitious effort at reforming its governance, justice, law and order sectors to date.he seeds of reform were started way back in 1982 with the establishment of the Kenya Law Reform Commission, and revisited a decade later – in 1992 when the Attorney General established 15 reform task forces with a mandate to review and update Kenya’s laws in areas such as company law, laws relating to women, public order and security, auctioneers and court brokers and children. A more structured approach to the reform process was added in 1998, when the Chief Justice appointed a committee chaired by a judge of the Court of Appeal, Hon Mr Justice Kwach to review and report on the administration of justice in Kenya. The Kwach Report proposed several far-reaching recommendations, including proposals to:

  •  Increase judicial personnel, and improve employment terms and conditions;
  •  Develop and implement a code of conduct for judicial personnel backed by an inspectorate unit;
  •  Improve facilities within the judiciary, reorganize case handling and management systems, simplify court procedures and introduce Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms; and Split the High Court into four divisions namely; the Family, Commercial, Civil and Criminal Divisions.

In the two decades since then, the impact of these intended reforms was not felt as strongly as originally intended due to systemic and institutional failure, the legacy of authoritarian rule, human rights abuses, and widespread corruption that had tainted government institutions including the Judiciary. The GJLOS reform programme is led by the Kenya government and seeks to implement far reaching reforms in the public sector. It is a response whose main hallmark is the sector wide approach that will support better governance, justice, law and order. By reforming these sectors, the badly needed environment that will ensure a more responsive government, better quality of life and faster economic growth will have been created. In total, 32 government institutions and ministries are involved in this ambitious programme.

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