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Promoting Alternative Justice Systems (AJS)

The Judiciary > Promoting Alternative Justice Systems (AJS)

Informal justice systems, such as customary and traditional dispute resolution mechanisms, are often more accessible and affordable than formal justice systems. Indeed, a ‘Justice Needs and Satisfaction Survey’ that the Judiciary conducted in 2017, showed that only 10% of those with justice needs use the formal justice institutions to solve their legal problems. However, these systems need strengthening to ensure fairness and alignment with human rights standards.


Recognizing the importance of Alternative Justice Systems (AJS) and in line with the constitutional directive in Article 159(2)(c) of the Constitution, the Judiciary significant efforts have been undertaken to enhance these systems. The most notable of these efforts is the development and implementation of the Alternative Justice Systems Policy (AJS Policy). Formulated by the Judiciary in consultation with various stakeholders, this policy seeks to recognize, regulate, and enhance the use of AJS in Kenya. The policy also aligns the operation of AJS with the principles and values of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010, and international human rights standards. It also underscores the need for a pluralistic approach to justice that is sensitive to the cultural, socio-economic, and geographic diversity of the population.


The implementation of the AJS Policy has had tangible impacts on access to justice in Kenya. It has facilitated the resolution of a significant number of disputes that would have otherwise burdened the formal courts. The Judiciary has launched AJS Suites (Ukumbi) in Isiolo, Kajiado, Nakuru and Lamu counties. It has also launched AJS County Action Plans in Kajiado and Nakuru counties as part of the country-wide roll out of AJS. This has not only improved access to justice for many Kenyans but has also helped to reduce case backlogs in the formal courts.


The Judiciary in collaboration with the National Steering Committee on the Implementation of AJS (NaSci-AJS) convene an annual AJS Conference to educate Kenyans and stakeholders on understanding informal and traditional justice system and the role they can play enhancing access to justice.

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