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Creation of Legal Awareness


Section 7 (1)(k) of the Legal Aid Act 2016 mandates National Legal Aid Service (NLAS) to take appropriate measures to promote legal literacy and legal awareness among the public and in particular educate vulnerable sections of the society on their rights and duties under the Constitution and other laws.

1.What is legal awareness?

Legal awareness through public legal education or legal literacy, involves the empowerment of individuals regarding issues involving the law. Legal awareness helps to promote consciousness of legal culture, participation in the formation of laws and the rule of law.

2.Why is legal awareness important?

In Kenya, one of the major impediments of access to justice is lack of legal education and awareness which is worsened by the perception that knowledge and understanding of the law is a preserve of the lawyers. Legal awareness enhances the legal literacy among the public and makes it possible to reduce disputes in society.

3.How does NLAS create legal awareness?

Access to legal awareness to marginalized and vulnerable groups: NLAS has made it possible for the vulnerable, indigent and marginalized to access legal education through translation of legal publications into simplified formats and making them available in Braille and the Kenyan sign language.

Use of mass media: NLAS appreciates that legal awareness, if easily accessible, is a valuable tool needed to achieve legal literacy and capacity thereby improving access to justice for all.

NLAS uses mass media channels, radio talk shows, use of toll-free number, short message services and broadcast of legal documentaries.

Public meetings and outreach programmes: These include mobile legal aid clinics, prison visits to create awareness, conducting seminars, lectures, distribution of education and information materials and participation in legal aid programmes.

Internship programmes: The internship programmes are offered to law students to promote the role and importance of legal services activities. Legal Aid Clinics and student mentorship are also run in law schools to further attain objectives of legal aid services.

Community visits: NLAS does the creation of Legal awareness by visiting the specific communities where they have identified gaps and training them in aspects such as Alternative Justice Systems, new legislations among others.