Provision of legal services to the poor, marginalized and vulnerable groups or persons who cannot otherwise afford the said services.
Indigent persons can access legal aid services on criminal and civil matters, unless there are inadequate resources, unconscionable conduct or any other reasonable ground.
Legal aid services are for both criminal and civil cases. Civil cases include family and property disputes, succession, employment matters etc. However, under the Legal Aid Act, legal aid services for artificial persons, matters of tax, debt recovery, bankruptcy and defamation are excluded from legal aid
The Legal Aid Act 2016 established a Legal Aid Fund that Legal Aid Fund that pays for remuneration of legal aid providers and related expenses. The civil society and other players in the justice sector also provide financial support. Legal practitioners on occasion offer legal aid on a volunteer basis.
The government is mandated with upholding constitutional rights of all Kenyan citizens, notably, access to justice. The government not only creates awareness about legal aid, but should also establishes a structured and sustainable national legal aid scheme in the country. The National Legal Aid and Awareness Policy 2015 and the Legal Aid Act 2016 aim to bring all the legal aid providers together for easy coordination and quality assurance and puts primary responsibility for provision of legal aid on the government.
The Constitution provides that every person is equal before the law with the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law. The Constitution further provides for the right to access to information, access to justice and rights of arrested persons. Article 50 (2)(h) provides that every accused person has the right to have an advocate assigned to them by the State and at the States’ expense if substantial injustice would otherwise result, and to be informed of this right.