Kenya forming special tribunal to hear HIV-related legal issues

[JURIST] Kenyan officials on Thursday announced the creation of a special tribunal to hear legal claims dealing with HIV [JURIST news archive], including discrimination and medical confidentiality cases. The tribunal will have the legal standing and powers of a subordinate court, and will be under the office of the Attorney General [official website]. Earlier this month, Kenya's National Aids Control Council [official website] unveiled Part III of the Kenya National AIDS Strategic Plan [text, PDF], which outlines the government's plans to fight the HIV epidemic in Kenya [NEPHAK backgrounder]. Ambrose Rachier, the tribunal chairperson, commented [PlusNews report] on the situation and the need for a specialized legal authority:


Nobody can pretend that there haven't been cases of violations and abuse of people living with HIV. When an HIV-positive woman is chased from home, either by in-laws or the husband, you have a serious case of human rights abuse.

Kenya's Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) decided Wednesday not to grant women equal marriage rights in the country's new constitution, which was unveiled in draft form in November [JURIST reports]. The PSC, which is composed of members of parliament, will make important decisions in the next week as it continues to draft constitutional language, including whether the country will have a presidential or parliamentary system. In October, former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan [official profile; JURIST news archive] called for constitutional reform in Kenya before the next electoral cycle begins in 15 months. In 2007, tens of thousands of protesters took to Kenya's streets accusing President Mwai Kibaki [official profile] of election fraud after early opinion polls suggested rival Raila Odinga [campaign website] was in the lead.


 

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