MANDATE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
The Office of the Attorney General and Department of Justice is established under the Executive Order No.2 of 2013. Further, Article 156 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and the Office of the Attorney General Act 2012 set out the Constitutional mandate and functions of the Attorney General. The Attorney General is the Government principal legal advisor, responsible for representing the national Government in court or any other legal proceedings to which the national Government is a party (other than criminal proceedings) and for performing any other functions conferred to the Office by an Act of Parliament or by the President. The Attorney General is also the promoter of the rule of law and defender of the public interest.
Pursuant to Executive Order No.2 of 2013, the Attorney General now discharges the functions of a Cabinet Secretary in relation to the Department of Justice and therefore, has responsibility for the promotion of human rights and implementation of the Constitution, access to justice including through promotion of legal aid, good governance, anti-corruption strategies, ethics and integrity, legal education and law reform, among others. The Attorney General also provides policy, co-ordination and oversight with regard to various legal sector institutions and therefore has a broader cross-cutting mandate to support the strengthening of legal sector institutions.
In summary, State Law Office and Department of Justice is mandated to promote the rule of law and public participation; support Government’s investment in socio-economic development; promote transparency, accountability, ethics and integrity; spearhead policy, legal and institutional reforms; promote economic governance and empowerment; promotion, fulfillment and protection of human rights; undertake administrative management; capacity building; and enhance access to justice.
Executive Order No 1 of 2016 changed the name of the Office of Attorney General and Department of Justice to State Law Office and Department of Justice.
FUNCTIONS OF STATE LAW OFFICE AND DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Arising from its mandate, the core functions for State Law Office and Department of Justice include representing the national Government in court or in any other legal proceedings to which the national Government is a party, other than criminal proceedings; undertaking civil litigation, arbitration, and alternative dispute resolution on behalf of the Government; reviewing and overseeing legal matters pertaining to Public Trustee and administration of estates and trusts; negotiating, drafting and vetting local and international instruments, treaties and agreements involving the Government and its Institutions; adjudicating complaints made against practicing advocates, firms of Advocates, a member or employee thereof and where necessary ensuring that disciplinary action is taken; undertaking drafting of bills, subsidiary legislation, notices of appointment to state corporations, constitutional and public offices and review of laws.
State Law Office and Department of Justice also undertakes the reviewing and overseeing of legal matters pertaining to registration of companies, business names, societies, adoptions and marriages. The Office also provides policy on administration of justice; legal policy management; legal aid and advisory services; political parties policy management; elections policy management; anti-corruption strategies, integrity and ethics; and constitutional affairs.
To be the best institution in the region in provision of public legal services and promotion of a just, democratic and corruption-free nation.
To facilitate the realization of good governance and respect for the rule of law through the provision of public legal services, protection and promotion of human rights and upholding of ethics and integrity.
- Efficiency and effectiveness.
- Equity and fairness
- Respect for diversity