Green Judiciary

Kenya to host Pan-African conference of Chief Justices

Nairobi, October 7, 2020.  Kenya to host Pan-African conference of Chief Justices

The Judiciary of Kenya is set to host a high-profile conference for Chief Justices from across the continent to discuss the role of courts in combating climate change in Africa.

The conference, dubbed “Greening Judiciary 2020”, is a continent-wide initiative that focuses on building the capacity of judges to apply and enforce environmental laws and to promote the rule of law in environmental matters. As part of the initiative, Judiciaries in the region have held two symposia in 2017 and 2018 in Johannesburg and Maputo respectively.

The Symposium will be held in Nairobi from December 1 to 3. It targets Chief Justices, senior judges, judicial educators, heads of education institutions, practitioners and experts from the continent. Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the delegates will have the option of attending physically or virtually.

Chief Justice David Maraga will host his colleagues in a special session that will interrogate and provide guidance on how judiciaries and other key actors should promote climate-change related adjudication in Africa, focusing on collaboration between the three arms of government.

The Judiciary leaders will also discuss constraints that hinder effective adjudication of climate change claims.

The UNEP 6th Global Environment Outlook (Regional Assessment Report for Africa) identifies climate change as one of the most pressing problems in Africa posing serious health and economic challenges. The region is warming faster than the global average, with projections of a rise of 3-4 degrees Celcius this century and climate-sensitive diseases such as cholera, meningitis, malaria and Rift Valley fever likely to spread faster. The continent is severely affected by climate change as most African economies rely heavily on climate-sensitive economic sectors that are exposed to climate variability, droughts and floods.

Plenary discussions will include panel discussions as well as presentations of relevant conference papers by select experts in the fields of climate change science, policy and law. Being a hybrid symposium, virtual contributions will be welcome.

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