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Realizing Right to Health for All: Successes and Challenges

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Photo Courtesy: WHO

By Hon. Prof. Kariuki Muigua, OGW, PhD, C.Arb, FCIArb is a Professor of Environmental Law and Dispute Resolution at the University of Nairobi, Member of Permanent Court of Arbitration, Leading Environmental Law Scholar, Respected Sustainable Development Policy Advisor, Top Natural Resources Lawyer, Highly-Regarded Dispute Resolution Expert and Awardee of the Order of Grand Warrior (OGW) of Kenya by H.E. the President of Republic of Kenya. He is The African ADR Practitioner of the Year 2022, The African Arbitrator of the Year 2022, ADR Practitioner of the Year in Kenya 2021, CIArb (Kenya) Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 and ADR Publisher of the Year 2021 and Author of the Kenya’s First ESG Book: Embracing Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) tenets for Sustainable Development” (Glenwood, Nairobi, July 2023) and Kenya’s First Two Climate Change Law Book: Combating Climate Change for Sustainability (Glenwood, Nairobi, October 2023), Achieving Climate Justice for Development (Glenwood, Nairobi, October 2023) and Promoting Rule of Law for Sustainable Development (Glenwood, Nairobi, January 2024)*

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 identifies key measures that are vital in fostering the right to health and achieving good health and wellbeing for all. These include reducing the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births; ending preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births; ending the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combating hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases; reducing by one third premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promoting mental health and well-being; strengthening the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol; reducing global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents.

Further it urges states to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes; achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all; substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination; support the research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and noncommunicable diseases that primarily affect developing countries; substantially increase health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries; and strengthen the capacity of all countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks.

The United Nations observes that there has been global progress towards meeting some of the targets of SDG 3 towards achieving good health and wellbeing for all81. It notes that 146 out of 200 countries have already met or are on the track to meet the under-5 mortality target; effective HIV treatment has cut global AIDS-related deaths by 52% since 2010 and at least one neglected tropical disease has been eliminated in 47 countries. The UNDP further notes that the world has made great progress against several leading causes of death and disease; life expectancy has increased dramatically; infant and maternal mortality rates have declined; and that AIDS and malaria related deaths have declined.

The Sustainable Development Goals Report also indicates that gains are evident in many areas of health, including reproductive, maternal and child health, immunization coverage and treatment of communicable diseases, though progress is marred by huge regional disparities. Progress towards achieving good health and well-being is also evident in some countries including Kenya. A report by the State Department for Economic Planning on the progress made towards achievement of SDG 3 shows that Kenya has made some significant progress in key areas including skilled deliveries at health facilities, improvement in antenatal care coverage, improvement in child immunization coverage, decrease in health diseases and conditions including tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS, improvement in health infrastructure, increased financing of healthcare and increase in health insurance coverage due to the government policy on Universal Healthcare Coverage.

Further, it has been noted that Kenya has made some progress and key reforms towards achieving Universal Health Care including free maternity services in all public health facilities; free primary health care in all public primary healthcare facilities; equipment of major public hospitals across the country with modern diagnostic equipment; adoption of health insurance subsidies through NHIF targeting disadvantaged groups; and the provision of infrastructure and equipment to health facilities across county governments such as new wards, ambulances, and additional health workers among other initiatives. However, despite this progress, several challenges at the global, regional and national level continue to impede realization of the right to health and achievement of SDG 3 on good health and well-being for all. It has been reported that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic posed and continues to pose challenges to people’s health and wellbeing globally and is impeding progress in meeting SDG 3 targets.

Before the pandemic, notable gains were evident in many areas of health across the globe, including reproductive, maternal and child health, immunization coverage and treatment of communicable diseases, though progress was marred by huge regional disparities. However, the outbreak of the pandemic severely disrupted essential health services across the world, triggered an increase in the prevalence of anxiety and depression, lowered global life expectancy, derailed progress towards ending HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, and halted two decades of work towards making health coverage universal.

Further, it has been pointed out that developing countries continue to face challenges in achieving good health and well-being for all due to economic hardships. Achieving the targets of SDG 3 requires significant resources to be invested in infrastructure, facilities, personnel and research and development which may be out of reach for developing countries. As a result, the health sector in some countries continues to face challenges including underequipped health facilities; inability of the infrastructure in place to meet existing demands; and inadequate human resource, thereby limiting the ability of citizens to access quality and affordable health care services, among others. Further, incidences of poverty in some countries hinder the realization of SDG 3 by limiting the ability of people to access health services. It has been pointed out that as a result of poverty, children growing up in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods face greater direct physical challenges to health status and health-promoting behaviours; they also often experience emotional and psychological stressors, such as family conflict and instability arising from chronically inadequate resources.

Achieving good health and well-being for all continues to be a challenge especially for women. It has been pointed out that women and men have different health-care needs, but an equal right to live healthily. However, for many women and girls, gender discrimination systematically undermines their access to health care, for reasons that include fewer financial resources and constraints on mobility among others. This is compounded by additional burdens imposed by gender disparities which limit their ability to stay healthy including long hours spent on domestic work, unsafe work environments and gender-based violence, with mechanisms for prevention and protection often being inadequate. Women face peculiar health concerns as a result of pregnancy and child birth which need to be met in order to foster their good health and well-being.

Finally, environmental challenges including climate change, degradation and pollution continue to pose a risk to the right to health around the world. UNDP posits that climate change and environmental degradation have potentially serious implications for social and economic development, including health. It observes that health systems in many countries are highly vulnerable to the shocks caused by epidemic outbreaks, conflict and climate events1. Further climate change could result in poverty a situation that may hinder the ability of people to access health services and further increases susceptibility to health risks including malaria and diarrhea due to global warming. It can also result in water scarcity undermining the ability of people to access clean water and sanitation which is vital in achieving good health and well-being.

Environmental degradation as a result of air and water pollution as well as poor management of hazardous chemicals and waste can undermine good health and well-being and result in health hazards and diseases. In addition, natural disasters and environmental shocks can have substantial impact on health, including deaths, injuries, diseases, disabilities, psychosocial problems and other indirect effects with damage to health facilities and disruption to the delivery of health services over extended periods of time. It is therefore vital to combat climate change and foster the right to a clean and healthy environment in order to achieve good health and well-being for all.

*This is an extract from the Book: Promoting Rule of Law for Sustainable Development (Glenwood, Nairobi, January 2024) by Hon. Prof.  Kariuki Muigua, OGW, PhD, Professor of Environmental Law and Dispute Resolution, Senior Advocate of Kenya, Chartered Arbitrator, Kenya’s ADR Practitioner of the Year 2021 (Nairobi Legal Awards), ADR Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 (CIArb Kenya), African Arbitrator of the Year 2022, Africa ADR Practitioner of the Year 2022, Member of National Environment Tribunal (NET) Emeritus (2017 to 2023) and Member of Permanent Court of Arbitration nominated by Republic of Kenya. Prof. Kariuki Muigua is a foremost Environmental Law and Natural Resources Lawyer and Scholar, Sustainable Development Advocate and Conflict Management Expert in Kenya. Prof. Kariuki Muigua teaches Environmental Law and Dispute resolution at the University of Nairobi School of Law, The Center for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP) and Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies. He has published numerous books and articles on Environmental Law, Environmental Justice Conflict Management, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Sustainable Development. Prof. Muigua is also a Chartered Arbitrator, an Accredited Mediator, the Managing Partner of Kariuki Muigua & Co. Advocates and Africa Trustee Emeritus of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators 2019-2022. Prof. Muigua is a 2023 recipient of President of the Republic of Kenya Order of Grand Warrior (OGW) Award for his service to the Nation as a Distinguished Expert, Academic and Scholar in Dispute Resolution and recognized among the top 5 leading lawyers and dispute resolution experts in Band 1 in Kenya by the Chambers Global Guide 2024 and was listed in the Inaugural THE LAWYER AFRICA Litigation Hall of Fame 2023 as one of the Top 50 Most Distinguished Litigation Lawyers in Kenya and the Top Arbitrator in Kenya in 2023.

References

African Development Bank Group., ‘Strategy for Quality Health Infrastructure in Africa 2022-2030.’ Available at https://www.afdb.org/sites/default/files/documents/publications/strategy_for_q uality_health_infrastructure_in_africa_2022-2030.pdf (Accessed on 03/11/2023).

African Union., ‘Abuja Declaration on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and other Related Infectious Diseases.’ Available at https://au.int/sites/default/files/pages/32894- file-2001-abuja-declaration.pdf (Accessed on 03/11/2023).

African Union., ‘African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.’ Available at https://au.int/sites/default/files/treaties/36804-treaty african_charter_on_rights_welfare_of_the_child.pdf (Accessed on 02/11/2023).

African Union., ‘Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol).’ Available at https://au.int/sites/default/files/treaties/37077-treatycharter_on_rights_of_women_in_africa.pdf (Accessed on 02/11/2023).

African Union., ‘Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa.’ Available at https://au.int/sites/default/files/pages/32900-fileprotocol_on_the_rights_of_older_persons_e.pdf (Accessed on 02/11/2023).

Amref Health Africa., ‘Universal Health Coverage (UHC).’ Available at https://amref.org/kenya/our-work/pillar-2-innovative-health-servicessolutions/universal-health-coverage/ (Accessed on 03/11/2023).

Constitution of Kenya, 2010., Government Printer, Nairobi

Constitution of the World Health Organization., Available at https://apps.who.int/gb/bd/PDF/bd47/EN/constitution-en.pdf (Accessed on 01/11/2023).

Government of Kenya., ‘Beyond the Conference: Kenya’s Progress Towards Affordable and Accessible Health Care.’ Available at https://vision2030.go.ke/beyond-the-conference-kenyas-progress-towardsaffordable-and-accessible-health-care/ (Accessed on 02/11/2023).

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Kenya Health Policy 2014-2030., Available at https://publications.universalhealth2030.org/uploads/kenya_health_policy_2014_t o_2030.pdf (Accessed on 02/11/2023).

Kenya Universal Health Coverage Policy 2020-2030., Available at http://guidelines.health.go.ke:8000/media/Kenya_Universal_Health_Coverage_Policy_2020_ _2030.pdf (Accessed on 02/11/2023).

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Muigua. K., ‘Ensuring Healthy Lives and Well-being for All Kenyans.’ Available at https://kmco.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Ensuring-Healthy-Lives-andWellbeing-for-All-Kenyans-Kariuki-Muigua-December-2020.pdf (Accessed on 03/11/2023).

Muigua. K., ‘Realizing the Right to a Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment.’ Available at https://kmco.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Realizing-the-Right-to-a-Clean-Healthy-and-Sustainable-Environment.pdf (Accessed on 02/11/2023).

Muigua.K., ‘Nurturing Our Environment for Sustainable Development.’ Glenwood Publishers Limited, 2016.

Munyua. A., & Olalere. N., ‘Public Financing for Health in Africa: 15% of an Elephant is not 15% of A Chicken.’ Available at https://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/october-2020/public-financinghealth-africa-when-15-elephant-not-15-chicken (Accessed on 03/11/2023).

Nampewo. Z., Mike. J., & Wolff. J., ‘Respecting, Protecting and Fulfilling the Human Right to Health.’ International Journal of Equity in Health, Volume 21, No. 36 (2022).

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights., ‘The Right to Health.’ Available at https://www.ohchr.org/sites/default/files/Documents/Publications/Factsheet31.pdf (Accessed on 01/11/2023).

Organization of African Unity (OAU), African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (“Banjul Charter”), 27 June 1981, CAB/LEG/67/3 rev. 5, 21 I.L.M. 58 (1982).

State Department for Economic Planning., ‘Is Kenya on Track Towards Achievement of SDG 3? An analysis of Health Indicators in Kenya.’ Available at https://www.planning.go.ke/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/ UHC-REPORTammended-1.pdf (Accessed on 02/11/2023).

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United Nations Environment Programme., ‘Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being.’ Available at https://www.unep.org/explore-topics/sustainable-developmentgoals/why-do-sustainable-development-goals-matter/goal-3 (Accessed on 03/11/2023).

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United Nations General Assembly., ‘Convention on the Rights of the Child,’ 20 November 1989, Available at https://www.ohchr.org/sites/default/files/Documents/ProfessionalInterest/crc.pdf (Accessed on 02/11/2023).

United Nations General Assembly., ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights,’ 10 December 1948, 217 A (III).

United Nations Women., ‘SDG 3: Ensure Healthy Lives and Promote Well-Being for All at All Ages.’ Available at https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/infocus/women-and-the-sdgs/sdg-3-good-health-well-being (Accessed on 03/11/2023).

United Nations., ‘SDG 3: Ensure Healthy Lives and Promote Well-Being for All at All Ages.’ Available at https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal3 (Accessed on 02/11/2023).

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News & Analysis

What is Carbon Markets?

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Written by Faith Nyambura Kabora, Advocate.

Carbon markets are a mechanism designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions which are essentially gases that trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute to the negative impacts of climate change such as prolonged drought and rising of sea levels.

Carbon markets operate on the principle of putting a price on carbon emissions to create commercial/economic incentives for public and private entities to reduce their carbon footprint and invest in cleaner, sustainable practices.

Ideally, by putting a price on carbon, the carbon markets encourage sustainable environmental practices and help counties meet their emission reduction targets under international treaties, like the Paris Agreement, which Kenya is a signatory to. For a broader understanding, here is how a carbon market works;

  1. A Government establishes a limit on the total amount of greenhouse gas emission/pollution is allowed within its geographical limits;
  2. A grant, say permissions are created and distributed to eligible participants. This allowance represents the right to emit a certain amount of greenhouse gas;
  3. The participants can then buy and sell the allowances. Ideally, those who reduce their emissions more efficiently sell their surplus allowance to those who find it more challenging to reduce the emissions. If a company pollutes a lot, they need to buy more permissions, and if they do not pollute as much, they can sell their extra permissions.
  4. Entities are required to hold enough allowances to cover their actual emissions. If they exceed allocated allowances, they face penalties or, as expounded above, they buy additional allowances. This is the part where compliance becomes mandatory for all the key players.
  5. The price of the allowances fluctuates based on supply and demands and reflects the cost of emitting greenhouse gases. It is essentially like paying for pollution.

A carbon market plays a pivotal role in advancing climate action and promoting sustainable practices by incentivizing companies to reconsider their pollution practices, which can result in financial consequences as pollution becomes a costly endeavor. In Kenya, the introduction of a Carbon Market is imperative as the world confronts the dire consequences of climate change. Furthermore, it offers a commercial opportunity for investors considering the growing demand for environmentally friendly and carbon neutral products and services.

As mentioned above, the Paris Agreement is one of the most important international treaties dedicated strengthen global response to the negative impact of climate change. Ultimately, the Agreement’s goal is to motivate countries to limit global emissions and more importantly, to hold them accountable for their actions around reducing their carbon footprints.

Kenya as a signatory to the Paris Agreement has made significant contributions towards fulfilling the obligations under the Paris Agreement of limiting global temperature. The Climate Change (Amendment) Act 2023, nudges Kenya towards the realization of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement by introducing provisions and regulation of and participation in carbon markets.

As one of the top law firms in Nairobi, MMA Advocates is renowned for its proactive strategy and innovative legal lawyer advice. Our firm is committed to delivering strategic assistance that not only tackles current difficulties but also equips clients for future legal trends and advancements. As top lawyers in Nairobi Kenya, we take great satisfaction in our ability to combine in-depth legal knowledge with creative problem-solving. We keep a close eye on business trends and legal advancements to deliver timely guidance that enables our clients to make wise choices.

Our main goal as MMA Advocates is to establish long-lasting partnerships based on integrity, decency, and reliability. Since every client’s circumstance is unique, our best advocates in Kenya offer timely service and individualized attention at every stage of our collaboration. We make sure our clients are informed and empowered throughout their legal journey because we value openness and transparency in communication. In every case we take on, we are deeply committed to obtaining positive results and client satisfaction. This is just one aspect of our unwavering commitment to quality.

Whether you are a startup negotiating regulatory obstacles, an established corporation expanding, or a private citizen seeking legal assistance on personal problems, our Best Corporate Lawyers in Kenya are dedicated to becoming your legal partner. Our expertise include Commercial Litigation, Real Estate & Development, Fintech, Public Procurement (Public Private Partnerships), Project Finance, Public Law Litigation, Legal Audits & Compliance Advisory and Crisis Management.

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To find out more about how MMA Advocates in Nairobi Kenya can help you with your legal issues, get in touch with us. With our team of committed professionals and our standing as one of the top law firms in Nairobi, we are well-positioned to offer outcomes that surpass expectations and guarantee your success in a legal environment that is always changing.

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Review: Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Journal, Volume 12(3), 2024

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The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Journal, Volume. 12, No.3, 2024 covers pertinent and emerging issues across all ADR mechanisms. This volume exposes our readers to a variety of salient topics and concerns in ADR including Building Peace in Africa, Public Policy as a Ground of Setting-Aside an Arbitral Award, Ethics, Integrity and Best Practice in Mediation, Accessing Justice in Kenya, Sports Arbitration, ESG Arbitration, Arbitration of Investor-State Dispute in Kenya, Article 159(2) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and issuance of interim measures by Arbitral Tribunals. The ADR Journal is a publication of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Kenya Branch. It provides a platform for scholarly debate and in-depth investigations into both theoretical and practical questions in Alternative Dispute Resolution.

The journal is edited by Professor of Law at the University of Nairobi, Faculty of Law Hon Prof. Kariuki Muigua, a distinguished law scholar, an accomplished mediator and arbitrator with a Ph.D. in law from the University of Nairobi and widespread training and experience in both international and national commercial arbitration and mediation. Prof. Muigua is a Fellow of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb)- Kenya chapter and also a Chartered Arbitrator. He is a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague. He also serves as a member of the National Environment Tribunal. He has served as the Chartered Institute of Arbitrator’s (CIArb- UK) Regional Trustee for Africa from 2019 -2022.

In the paper “Building Peace in Africa through Alternative Dispute Resolution”  Hon. Prof. Kariuki Muigua critically discusses the role of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms in peace building in Africa. The paper argues that ADR mechanisms can play a fundamental role in building peace in Africa. The paper further posits that ADR mechanisms are able to enhance sustainable peace in Africa due to their focus on reconciliation and restorative justice. It proposes solutions towards building peace in Africa through ADR.

In “the Emergence of the International Commercial Court: A Threat to Arbitration of Investor-State Dispute in Kenya” Marion Injendi Wasike and Dr. Kenneth W. Mutuma argue that the proliferation of international commercial courts, including their introduction in Kenya, necessitates a thorough analysis of their implications on arbitration’s role in investor-state disputes. By juxtaposing these emerging judicial entities against traditional arbitration paradigms, the discussion aims to unravel the complexities and potential shifts in dispute resolution preferences, highlighting the balance between innovation in legal adjudication and the sustenance of arbitration’s revered position in the international legal order.

Kamau Karori SC, MBS in “Striking a Balance: A Delicate Dance Between Sanctity and Scrutiny” notes that the continuing debate —between upholding the inviolability of arbitral awards and judicial intervention in cases of egregious injustice points to the need for delicate balancing between non-interference and the need to correct unmistakably unjust awards. The urgency of this discourse is informed by the need to prevent consumers or potential consumers of arbitration services opting to exclude arbitration clauses due to perceived deficiencies. The article seeks to navigate the genesis of the debate, delicately dissect the different perspectives, and draw comparisons with global practices.

The article “Reforming Kenya’s Law on Probation and Aftercare Services to Promote Alternative Dispute Resolution” by Michael Sang engages in a comprehensive exploration of Kenya’s Probation of Offenders Act within the context of the growing role of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) principles in the nation’s criminal justice system. Drawing inspiration from international legal instruments such as “The Beijing Rules,” “Bangkok Rules,” and “Tokyo Rules,” the study evaluates the Act’s provisions, strengths, and limitations. It concludes with a call for thoughtful reforms that align Kenya’s criminal justice system with international standards, emphasizing a balanced and compassionate approach to justice.

The “Upholding Ethics, Integrity and Best Practice in Mediation” by Hon. Prof. Kariuki Muigua, OGW critically discusses the need for standardization of mediation practice in Kenya by adopting best practices. It examines some of the challenges facing mediation practice in Kenya. It is also explores measures adopted towards fostering best practices in mediation at both the global and national level. The paper further suggests recommendations aimed at upholding ethics, integrity and best practice in mediation. In “Exploring the Role of Mediation in Promoting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Fostering Economic Growth in Kenya” Atundo Wambare offers an in-depth analysis of the use of mediation in promoting the growth of small and medium enterprises (SME’s). He makes recommendations on how best mediation can be harnessed as a tool for economic growth in Kenya.

James Njuguna and Nyamboga George Nyanaro in “Compulsory Resolution or Autonomy Erosion? The Debate on Mandatory Sports Arbitration delve into the contentious issue of mandatory sports arbitration, questioning its role as a potential future pathway for dispute resolution. Their research examines the implications of compulsory arbitration on athletes’ autonomy, juxtaposing it with the benefits of expedited dispute resolution.

Paul Ngotho in “Constitution of Kenya 2010 Article 159.2.(c): Ancestry, Anatomy, Efficacy & Legacy” traces the rather odd origin and everlasting effect of the often-cited Article 159.2.(c) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010. It acknowledges the central role played by two members of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Kenya Branch, quietly and privately, away from the mainstream constitution making process. One of them chairman of the Branch, the other the Minister of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs.

David Onsare in “Navigating The ESG Maze: Emerging Trends in Arbitration and Corporate Accountability” embarks on a timely exploration of the dynamic interplay between Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors and arbitration, a field gaining critical importance in the realm of corporate accountability. By offering a comprehensive view of the complexities and practical implications of ESG in arbitration, the article serves as a crucial guide for legal professionals navigating the evolving landscape of corporate responsibility and arbitration. In “Public Policy as a Ground of Setting-Aside an Arbitral Award: Musings on the Centurion Engineers Civil Appeal Judgment”

Ibrahim Kitoo argues a case for upholding of public policy as a ground for the nonrecognition, non-enforcement and setting aside of an arbitral award in cases where to recognise and enforce such awards proves to be a clear violation of the law and against the public good. Juvenalis Ngowi in “Arbitral Tribunals: Do they have the power to issue interim measures during the proceedings?” discusses the powers of the Arbitral Tribunal to grant such orders and examines some procedural rules which empower arbitrators to issue such orders, the scope of those powers, and the factors to be considered when granting interim measures in the arbitral proceedings.

In “Examining the Efficacy of Mediation as A Tool for Accessing Justice in Kenya: Opportunities, Challenges, and Future Perspectives” Murithi Antony undertakes a thorough examination of mediation as a form of ADR in the Kenyan context. He identifies opportunities arising from the integration of mediation into the country’s legal system and explores barriers impeding its widespread adoption. The article concludes with a resounding call to action for all stakeholders to champion the use of mediation collaboratively and proactively, given its proven efficacy in dispute resolution.

Kariuki Muigua & Company Advocates is a Top-Tier Kenyan law firm situated at the heart of Nairobi city in Kenya. We are a broad-based practice with a reputation for offering a full range of quality services to our domestic and international clients.

At KM&CO, we take pride in offering personalized attention to our diverse clientele. Our practice aspires to offer efficient and cost-effective legal solutions that meet our esteemed clients’ needs in a timely and competent manner.

KM&CO was founded in 1993 by the current senior Advocate, Dr. Kariuki Muigua. It is based in the Central Business District of Nairobi at the Pioneer Assurance House located opposite 7th August Bomb Blast Memorial Park enjoying the convenience of close proximity to major financial, commercial and governmental institutions.

We are open for consultations with our clients worldwide; we have lawyers on standby for 24 hours to cover diverse time zones that impact on our global clients.

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Way Forward in Applying Collaborative Approaches Towards Conflict Management

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By Hon. Prof. Kariuki Muigua, OGW, PhD, C.Arb, FCIArb is a Professor of Environmental Law and Dispute Resolution at the University of Nairobi, Member of Permanent Court of Arbitration, Leading Environmental Law Scholar, Respected Sustainable Development Policy Advisor, Top Natural Resources Lawyer, Highly-Regarded Dispute Resolution Expert and Awardee of the Order of Grand Warrior (OGW) of Kenya by H.E. the President of Republic of Kenya. He is the Academic Champion of ADR 2024, the African ADR Practitioner of the Year 2022, the African Arbitrator of the Year 2022, ADR Practitioner of the Year in Kenya 2021, CIArb (Kenya) Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 and ADR Publisher of the Year 2021 and Author of the Kenya’s First ESG Book: Embracing Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) tenets for Sustainable Development” (Glenwood, Nairobi, July 2023) and Kenya’s First Two Climate Change Law Book: Combating Climate Change for Sustainability (Glenwood, Nairobi, October 2023), Achieving Climate Justice for Development (Glenwood, Nairobi, October 2023), Promoting Rule of Law for Sustainable Development (Glenwood, Nairobi, January 2024) and Actualizing the Right to a Clean and Healthy Environment (Glenwood, Nairobi, March 2024)*

It is necessary to embrace and utilize collaborative approaches in managing conflicts. These techniques include mediation, negotiation, and facilitation. These mechanisms are effective in managing conflicts since they encourage parties to embrace and address disagreements through empathy and listening towards mutually beneficial solutions. Collaborative approaches also have the potential to preserve relationships, build trust, and promote long term positive change. They also ensure a win-win solution is found so that everyone is satisfied which creates the condition for peace and sustainability. These approaches are therefore ideal in managing conflicts. It is therefore important to embrace collaborative approaches in order to ensure effective management of conflicts.

In addition, it is necessary for third parties including mediators and facilitators to develop their skills and techniques in order to enhance the effectiveness of collaborative approaches towards conflict management. For example, it has correctly been observed that mediators and facilitators should listen actively and empathetically in order to assist parties to collaborate towards managing their dispute. Therefore, when a dispute arises, the first step should involve listening to all parties involved with an open mind and without judgment. This should entail active listening, which means paying attention to both verbal and nonverbal cues and acknowledging the emotions and perceptions involved.

It has been observed that by listening empathetically, a third party such as a mediator of facilitator can understand each person’s perspective and start to build a foundation for resolving the conflict through collaboration. In addition, while collaborating towards conflict management, it is necessary to encourage and help parties to focus on interests and not positions. It has been pointed out that focusing positions can result in a standstill which can delay or even defeat the conflict management process. However, by identifying and addressing the underlying interests parties can find common ground and collaborate towards coming up with creative solutions towards their conflict.

Mediators and facilitators should also assist parties to look for areas of agreement or shared goals. Identifying a common ground can build momentum and create a positive environment for resolving the conflict. Further, in order to ensure the effectiveness of collaborative approaches in conflict management, it is necessary to build strong collaboration. It has been asserted that strong collaboration can be achieved by establishing a shared purpose, cultivating trust among parties, encouraging active participation by all parties, and promoting effective communication.

Strong collaboration enables parties to develop trust between and among themselves and strengthen communication channels between the various parties. It also helps to generate inclusive solutions that arise from wider stakeholders’ views. Therefore while applying collaborative approaches, it is necessary for parties to foster strong collaboration by identifying common goals, building trust, ensuring that all stakeholders are involved, and communicating effectively in order to come up with win-win outcomes.

Finally, while embracing collaborative approaches in conflict management, it is necessary for parties to consider seeking help from third parties if need arises. For example, negotiation is always the first point of call whenever a conflict arises whereby parties attempt to manage their conflict without the involvement of third parties. It has been described as the most effective collaborative approach towards conflict management since it starts with an understanding by both parties that they must search for solutions that satisfy everyone.

It enables parties to a dispute to come together to openly discuss the issue causing tension, actively listen to each other, and come up with mutually satisfactory solutions. However, it has been correctly observed that negotiation may fail especially if the conflict is particularly complex or involves multiple parties due to challenges in collaborating. In such circumstances, where negotiation fails, parties should consider resorting to other collaborative approaches such as mediation and facilitation where they attempt to manage the conflict with the help of a third party. A mediator or facilitator can assist parties to collaborate and continue with the negotiations and ultimately break the deadlock.

*This is an extract from Kenya’s First Clean and Healthy Environment Book: Actualizing the Right to a Clean and Healthy Environment (Glenwood, Nairobi, January 2024) by Hon. Prof.  Kariuki Muigua, OGW, PhD, Professor of Environmental Law and Dispute Resolution, Senior Advocate of Kenya, Chartered Arbitrator, Kenya’s ADR Practitioner of the Year 2021 (Nairobi Legal Awards), ADR Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 (CIArb Kenya), African Arbitrator of the Year 2022, Africa ADR Practitioner of the Year 2022, Member of National Environment Tribunal (NET) Emeritus (2017 to 2023) and Member of Permanent Court of Arbitration nominated by Republic of Kenya and Academic Champion of ADR 2024. Prof. Kariuki Muigua is a foremost Environmental Law and Natural Resources Lawyer and Scholar, Sustainable Development Advocate and Conflict Management Expert in Kenya. Prof. Kariuki Muigua teaches Environmental Law and Dispute resolution at the University of Nairobi School of Law, The Center for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP) and Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies. He has published numerous books and articles on Environmental Law, Environmental Justice Conflict Management, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Sustainable Development. Prof. Muigua is also a Chartered Arbitrator, an Accredited Mediator, the Managing Partner of Kariuki Muigua & Co. Advocates and Africa Trustee Emeritus of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators 2019-2022. Prof. Muigua is a 2023 recipient of President of the Republic of Kenya Order of Grand Warrior (OGW) Award for his service to the Nation as a Distinguished Expert, Academic and Scholar in Dispute Resolution and recognized among the top 5 leading lawyers and dispute resolution experts in Band 1 in Kenya by the Chambers Global Guide 2024 and was listed in the Inaugural THE LAWYER AFRICA Litigation Hall of Fame 2023 as one of the Top 50 Most Distinguished Litigation Lawyers in Kenya and the Top Arbitrator in Kenya in 2023.

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Kariuki Muigua & Company Advocates is a Top-Tier Kenyan law firm situated at the heart of Nairobi city in Kenya. We are a broad-based practice with a reputation for offering a full range of quality services to our domestic and international clients.

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