FORMAL JUSTICE AND ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION ON LAND BASED CONFLICTS IN KENYA
Keywords:Formal justice, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and land-based conflict.
This article highlights the use of formal justice and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADRs) mechanisms in resolving land based conflicts in Kenya. The research employed a desk review method through the review of books, articles, documents, reports and internet information. Findings reveal that symbiotic relationship and equitable value of both the formal justice system and ADR are recognised by the Constitution of Kenya 2010. The court system in Kenya is established under the Constitution and various other Acts of Parliament land dispute suits matters are filed at the civil court registry of a lower or magistrates court or at the Environment and Land Court through its registry. On the other hand, the use of ADR mechanisms offers different advantages compared to the formal court system, including effective and efficient of resources such as time and money. It reduces the time it takes to resolve disputes, particularly in tribunals and traditional and alternative justice systems, and diminish the backlog of cases experienced by the courts. The article provides a better understanding of the two systems in terms of their merits and demerits and recommends that the Government of Kenya does more to build capacity by providing formal training at the local level in the different ADR methods to help disputants resolve conflict before it is channelled through the formal justice system. It also recommends that it create a public fund and a corresponding application process that would allow those who cannot afford to privately hire advocates to prosecute or defend their matters in Court through the said fund.
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