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Title:Pretrial detention in Kenya: balancing the rights of criminal defendants and the interests of justice
Authors:Akech, MigaiISNI
Kinyanjui, Sarah
Periodical:East African Journal of Peace and Human Rights (ISSN 1021-8858)
Geographic term:Kenya
rights of the accused
Abstract:This article examines how the police and courts exercise their powers to grant bail, and how the various agencies that make up the criminal justice system in Kenya (Police, Probation Department, Courts, Prisons) impact on the protection of the pre-trial rights of criminal defendants. Kenya's bail administration system faces inter-agency coordination challenges, which may include the failure to transport detainees to court. This undermines the pre-trial rights of criminal defendants. Current statistics indicate that 30-40 per cent of the prison population consists of pre-trial detainees. The authors consider that the Police and the courts generally exercise their powers fairly and responsibly. While in some cases this exercise of power entails detaining individuals who deserve to be granted bail, their decisions are sound, given the inability of large segments of the public to understand the purpose of bail. In these circumstances, bail constitutes a valuable tool that the police and the courts use to maintain law and order. Given that it is inevitable that some criminal defendants will be detained, a need arises to ensure that places of detention are humane, and that the denial of bail does not constitute punishment. However, many of the places of detention are not only congested, but also in a deplorable state. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]