Legal Cases programme
This evaluation reviewed MRG’s work involving litigation and other forms of legal work in support of minority communities. The work evaluated included several legal cases that MRG and partners have been working on together as well as other forms of legal work including drafting new laws and amicus briefs. The evaluator was positive about the way that the work was carried out as well as some early outcomes and impacts.
“During the course of the litigation, the African Commission indicated it wished to conduct a site visit (something which in the event it never did). It appears that as a direct result of this, the Kenyan government took action to improve amenities on Endorois land by building a number of schools and health centres; conversation with the EWC representatives revealed that these amenities were warmly welcomed and used by the community. This government action alone poses a serious challenge to arguments which abound in human rights circles, that litigation before the African Commission is a futile exercise owing to the unenforceability of its decisions. These are real and significant gains which will have long term benefits to the Community – albeit that they do not directly address the human rights violations alleged, themselves.” … “The very strong impression gained from reading the files and talking with the people involved in the litigation, is that the process of engaging in litigation has greatly empowered the community in ways that could not have been foreseen at the outset.”
Recommendations included that MRG continued to take a multi-pronged approach to legal work (i.e. to run litigation alongside advocacy, media, capacity building and other related work that helps to maximise the impact of litigation) and that MRG expands its work on new draft laws relevant to minority communities. Where MRG was not the main party bringing a case, the evaluator suggested that, in at least one case, work had been done that may have added little value when several other NGOs were already involved.
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