Sunday, September 13, 2009

Kenya To Abandon Use of Police Prosecutors

Police prosecutors, who currently prosecute 90% of criminal cases in magistrates' courts are to be phased out by 2011. Currently, there are 300 police prosecutors, and 73 state counsel nationwide. Speaking at a recent function, the Attorney General states that The strategic plan of the State Law Office 2004-2008 proposed the phasing out of police prosecutors by the end of last year but only 52 out of the expected 150 State counsel were employed since there was an inadequate budgetary allocation to support the phasing out program. These reforms are long overdue. Under the current arrangement, the justice system is unlikely to be able to deal with post electoral violence in an expeditious, competent, fair and impartial manner. Although the AG is constitutionally responsible for all prosecutions, police prosecutors are answerable not to the State Law Office but through the police chain of command. They are also appointed within the same chain, and not by the AG.

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