Following in-country engagement in late 2014, LASER identified two areas of commercial law and justice reform in Kenya which were local priorities, but where progress has stalled. Both of these areas had political backing and the potential to improve the investment environment, and it was evident that modest LASER support could result in significant impact.

Alternative dispute resolution
(ADR) was a key priority for the Kenyan Judiciary and the Chief Justice. The Judiciary requested LASER support for a court-annexed mediation pilot, which presented an opportunity to help increase the speed of processing civil cases and lower the costs to litigants and the justice system. LASER supported the launch of the ADR pilot, and facilitated the development and adoption of mediation rules into legislation. LASER also helped to develop a M&E framework for the ADR pilot, and to maintain and secure additional financial support from JPIP towards the pilot. This video by Justice Ochieng sets out the importance of the ADR pilot to the Kenyan economy.

The World Bank’s Judicial Performance Improvement Programme (JPIP), asked LASER to help re-structure their $120M programme. LASER supported JPIP, the largest ever World Bank investment in judicial reform, to re-frame its focus on locally-identified justice needs and to adopt a more problem driven approach. LASER supported the MTR mission in shifting the focus from an input/component led project to one that is output or justice-user led, and the final aide memoire acknowledged LASER’s valuable input into the restructuring of the programme. Following LASER engagement, JPIP was viewed by the JPIP Team Leader as ‘problem driven’ from the perspective of citizens, focusing on three problem areas: physical access to and cost of justice; timeliness of justice’ and quality of judicial decisions. For more information, see the case study.