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Participants at the harmonization of laws workshop in a group photo after the meeting at Laico Regency Hotel, Nairobi.
The Integration Secretary of the State Department of EAC Integration (SDEACI) Mr. Barack Ndegwa, on Wednesday presided over a half day validation workshop for stakeholders on harmonization of laws, held at the Laico Hotel in Nairobi.
In his speech, Mr.Ndegwa pointed out that the workshop was as a result of a resolution by the State Department to develop a document to outline Kenya’s policy on harmonization of national laws to conform to EAC legislations.
He added that the SDEACI seeks to take the lead in the harmonization process by ensuring that the national laws do not offend the commitments under the EAC treaty.
“Currently the community has passed approximately twenty-two protocols, thirty-seven Acts and has Thirty (30) Bills. All these legislations are to be implemented through the process of harmonizing the partner states laws to conform to the community legislation as envisaged under Article 126(2) (b) of the treaty”, the Integration officer pointed out.
He also explained the existing framework and how it provides for the legal and institutional mandate to facilitate the harmonization of national laws process, hence creating a need to develop this policy in order to overcome serious challenges experienced by key stakeholders who have been undertaking the process of harmonization of national laws to conform to EAC legislations.
The State Department’s Head of Legal Unit Ms.Winnie Cheserem, who chaired the meeting, said that the decision was arrived at due to the need for Kenya as a country to have a policy in place to guide and facilitate an informed and effective harmonisation of national law processes to be in line with the EAC Treaty and its protocols.
The policy provides a standing committee to be established under the Ministry responsible for Integration. The membership of the committee will be drawn from the key stakeholders in the harmonisation of the national laws process.
Ms.Susan Lutta, also from the legal department, reminded the participants that since the establishment of the EAC several protocols have been ratified to enhance regional Integration including the Customs Union Protocol and Common Market Protocol. Thus as a country there was need to come up with ways in which we may be able to work for the greater good of Kenya as a sovereign nation while still meeting her obligations under the EAC treaty.
Participants at the workshop were drawn from the Attorney Generals’ office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kenya Law Reform Commission, Parliament, Ministry of East Africa Community Integration, Ministry of Trade and Ministry of Internal Security.
The participants were mandated to appoint a committee that will identify the national laws that require amendments and coordinate the harmonisation of national laws process in consultation with the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
The policy that is to be passed, outlines a procedure to guide the committee in coordinating the harmonisation of national laws process. The policy also provides a monitoring and evaluation and reporting framework for the committee to assess the progress of the harmonisation of national law process.
SDEACI ENGAGES STAKEHOLDERS ON HARMONIZATION OF LAWS
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