Inequality and access to justice: a focus on the adjudication of socio-economic rights in Kenya

Victoria Miyandazi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Kenya’s 2010 Constitution establishes the necessary legal framework for tackling inequalities in the country. The multiple provisions on equality, non-discrimination and socio-economic rights create the impetus for rights-based litigation. Now society wants to claim these rights but there are still many hurdles to do so. Many special interest groups do not have access to lawyers nor the skills to access courts on their own. The growing concern is, therefore, that despite the progressive nature of constitutional provisions that seek to tackle inequalities in the country, they are not by themselves the panacea to the problem of access to justice in the country. Aside from the prohibitive cost of legal representation being a major concern, there are other access to justice challenges that inhibit the poor and marginalised in Kenya from instituting claims in court, and which also affect their chances of succeeding in their claims. This article discusses how an equality-sensitive approach to adjudicating socio-economic rights can help avoid reinforcing inequality and promote equality. It argues that failure to apply such an approach can exacerbate the inequality and access to justice challenges that vulnerable groups already face, especially in times of a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-166
JournalZeitschrift für Vergleichende Rechtswissenschaft
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2022


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