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Developing an Administrative Law Guide for Kenyan Public Servants

Lucy Moxham, Dr Jan van Zyl Smit

What are the benefits of providing civil servants with a guide to administrative law, and how are they best achieved? 

Authors: Jan van Zyl Smit, Lucy Moxham

The Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law has been examining these questions at the suggestion of the Katiba Institute, an independent institute based in Nairobi. As part of its work to promote constitutionalism, the Katiba Institute plans to develop an administrative law guide for the Kenyan civil service.Bingham Centre research fellows, Jan van Zyl Smit and Lucy Moxham undertook desk-based research and interviews to examine the development and use of the UK's The Judge Over Your Shoulder (JOYS), an administrative law guide for civil servants. 

The final report, 'The UK's The Judge Over Your Shoulder: A Model for Kenya?' considers the benefits of providing civil servants with a guide to administrative law. It examines the development and use of the UK's JOYS, which has inspired similar administrative law guides in New Zealand and Malawi. The report draws on these experiences to ask how Kenya might develop an administrative law guide for its own civil servants.On 21-22 March 2016, the Bingham Centre presented an earlier draft of the report at a high-level consultation convened by the Katiba Institute at the Kenya School of Government in Nairobi. This meeting brought together Kenyan public bodies and foreign experts to discuss how a civil service guide could be devised to help implement the right to "fair administrative action" in the 2010 Constitution of Kenya. 

This research was funded by the FCO's Magna Carta Partnerships Fund. We are also grateful to the Katiba Institute and the School of Government for inviting us to the Nairobi workshop, and to Steven Bramley CBE a senior member of the UK Government Legal Department and Professor Cora Hoexter of the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, whose participation in the workshop as part of the Bingham Centre delegation was funded by ROLE UK.

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