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Regional Symposium on Greening Judiciaries in Africa kicks off in Nairobi

The 3rd Regional Symposium on Greening Judiciaries in Africa convened to discuss climate Change in Africa kicked off today in Nairobi.

The forum being attended by over 20 Chief Justices drawn from African countries as well as judges, judicial officers, judicial educators, heads of judicial education institutions, practitioners and experts from the continent and beyond, was opened officially by President Willaim Ruto.

The conference whose theme is: “Strengthening the Role of Judiciaries in Addressing Climate Change in Africa,” is a hybrid symposium that incorporates the Chief Justices Forum on Environmental Law Session, Plenary Sessions and the AJENEL General Conference.

President Ruto said it is important for Africa to undertake concerted action to win the war on climate change, because it is disproportionately affected by its adverse impacts. He said this is also important since the necessary global responses to climate change are going to institute structural changes.
He observed that although climate change is a universal existential threat, there is good reason for Africa’s institutions and leadership to drive the agenda of mitigating its effects and eliminating the human activity driving it.

The President said government is also taking measures to ensure that every ministry, department and agency aligns its policies, strategies, programmes and projects with the country’s green agenda.

Chief Justice Martha Koome on her part said that as guardians of the rule of law and the protectors of constitutional rights, we have a unique responsibility to ensure that our decisions and judgments contribute to a greener, more resilient, and more sustainable Africa.

She said the courts are the guardians of the rule of law and the protectors of constitutional rights, including the fundamental right to a clean and healthy environment.

“As judges, we have a unique responsibility to interpret and apply the law in a manner that promotes environmental sustainability, social equity, and intergenerational justice.” CJ Koome said

She called upon Chief Justices and judges at the symposium to join hands in forging a united front against climate change, leveraging our collective wisdom and expertise to develop a jurisprudence that is uniquely African and responsive to Africa’s shared concerns.

She reiterated the Kenyan Judiciary’s commitment to serving as the hub for African judiciaries’ dialogue.

“Hosting regional judiciaries dialogues is a means of fostering development of an African jurisprudence that is responsive to the unique concerns & aspirations of our continent.” the CJ noted.

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