International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Enhancing Legal Education in East Africa: Contextualizing the Role of the Legislature, Council of Legal Education and the Judiciary in Kenya.
Dr. Jacob Kariuki Gakeri

Some of the poignant challenges the legal education sector is grappling with in East Africa are traceable to the history of the legal profession. The sector is labouring under the weight of burgeoning numbers, declining standards and inadequate human and financial resources necessary to keep abreast with market dynamics and international best practices. Admittedly, neither the Colonial Government nor the Government of independent Kenya sufficiently invested in legal education to anchor it on a growth trajectory. Legal education in East Africa generally and Kenya in particular has a long and chequered history. It has gone through various phases inherent in which has been the disproportionateness of interests of stakeholders. Significantly, the legislature and the judiciary have been inextricably entwined in the legal education matrix and have become critical actors in the dynamics of modelling the future of the profession. This paper chronicles the evolutionary pattern of the legal framework on legal education accentuating how litigants have unwittingly catapulted the judiciary to the forefront in the promotion of legal education. Drawing from leading judicial pronouncements, the discussion provides useful perspectives and insights on how courts have progressively fortified legislative prescriptions and decisions of the Council of Legal Education as the Council endeavours to operationalize and enforce statutory instruments. Preponderantly, the judiciary has been impenitent in enforcing the quality standards prescribed by the legislature. Judicial authority is unambiguous that the legal education and training regulatory framework is not only progressive but robust and dynamic. The emerging jurisprudence constitutes a veritable foundation for the enrichment of legal education and training in the region. Unpredictably, incessant actions challenging Council decisions on licensing and admission to the Kenya School of Law have reinvigorated debate on the quality of University education in Kenya.

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