𝐓𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐝𝐚𝐲, 𝐒𝐞𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫 𝟐𝟔, 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟑.
The Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) has today held a meeting with the National Council on the Administration of Justice (NCAJ), which is chaired by the Chief Justice and the President of the Supreme Court of Kenya, Lady Justice Martha Koome.
During the meeting, JLAC Members were briefed on areas that NCAJ are proposing to be amended on the Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2023; and the Criminal Procedure code (Amendment) Bill, 2023.
On the Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2023; NCAJ proposes to amend the Penal Code, to provide for human-rights-friendly language in relation to persons with intellectual and psychological disabilities; to remove the subjection of children sentenced in lieu of death penalty from detention at the President’s pleasure; and to shift the burden of proof for the offences of incitement to violence and disobedience from the accused person to prosecution; and to repeal petty offences.
The Bill also seeks to protect intersex persons affected by the criminal justice processes; and to cascade offences of murder and robbery to ensure equal punishment for the different offences.
In addition to that, the Bill also seeks to amend the provisions relating to the mandatory death penalty in compliance with the judgements of the High Court on the prevailing human rights standards.
The Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Bill, 2023 on the other hand, seeks to amend the Criminal Procedure Code, so that it conforms with the provisions of the Magistrate’s Courts Act, 2015; in respect of ranks of Magistrates, transfer of cases between Magistrates, operational period of suspended sentences, and to make special provisions for trial and defense of persons with intellectual and psychological disabilities.
Hon. Edward Muriu (Gatanga) and a Member of JLAC, on behalf of the Chairperson, noted that this review is timely, considering that the two provisions were enacted during the colonial period, and have become outdated in respect of today’s society, and therefore need to be relooked, in a bid to enact provisions tailored to the Kenyan people.
“Today’s societal problems and crimes necessitate a timely, consolidated reform of the criminal legal framework. Moreover, in the wake of social transformation through access to justice, the NCAJ is a key player in charting a suitable criminal law regime.” Said Hon. Muriu.
The Committee Members expressed their satisfaction with the proposals raised by NCAJ, with Hon. Muriu promising that the Committee will be working closely with NCAJ, and starting to process the Bills soon.