The Kenya Forum | Kenya to Set up SGBV Courts Across the Country - The Kenya Forum

January 30, 2023

Summary

Justice Martha Koome also announced that Kenya’s first Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Court in Shanzu, Mombasa, will be relocated to a new site in Mtwapa.

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Kenya to Set up SGBV Courts Across the Country

Kenya to Set up SGBV Courts Across the Country

Chief Justice Martha Koome has said that there are plans to set up sexual and gender-based courts across the country.

Justice Martha Koome also announced that Kenya’s first Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Court in Shanzu, Mombasa, will be relocated to a new site in Mtwapa.

The Chief Justice, who spoke during a meeting with ambassadors from Denmark and Sweden to review strategic partnerships supported through the International Development Law Organisation (IDLO), says the courts will ensure tailor-made justice for victims of sexual and gender-based violence.

“It is clear that we need to have serious training to the officers so that they are sensitive to handling the matter, we also have to deal with the trauma of the victim, a lot of counseling,” Koome stated.

Danish Ambassador to Kenya Ole Thonke emphasized the necessity for ensuring that victims of such crimes get speedy justice in courts.

For many, that’s the main reason why they don’t use the official justice system, because after being violated physically no one is ready to take three to five years fighting for something that you may get or not get through the court system,” Thonke stated.

On her part, Swedish ambassador Caroline Vicini, says her country is keen to continue supporting Kenya’s justice system through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

We have just finished a 10-year program with the Kenya Prison Service about human rights in the prison systems of different models and we actually had people from the Swedish prison system working here in the office of the Kenya prison service,” She said.

Lady Justice Martha Koome launched Kenya’s first specialized court on  Sexual and Gender-based Violence at the Shanzu Law Courts in Mombasa in March last year. The court is similar to those in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Namibia in its management and prosecution of SGBV cases.

“This court will adopt a ‘survivor-centered’ approach and have specially trained prosecutors and support staff, the SGBV Court is a reinforcing prompt of the urgency to align the Criminal Justice System towards a coordinated structure that preserves the dignity of victims and enhances fair trial within the tenets of the Constitution,” said Koome.

Cases of SGBV have been on the rise in the country, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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