Following on from the announcement of the confirmed speakers for Plenary Session 4 Access to Environmental Justice, the Organising Committee is delighted to profile Justice Munyao Sila, Environment and Land Court, Kenya, who will present a paper on "The place of the Environment and Land Court in the Kenyan Judiciary" on Friday 28 June: 9.00am-11.00am.


Justice Munyao Sila is a Judge of the Environment and Land Court in the Republic of Kenya. He was appointed as judge in October 2012, being one of the 15 pioneer judges of the E&L Court. Prior to his appointment as judge, Justice Munyao was a lecturer at Moi University, School of Law in Kenya, where he taught land law. He was also a practicing advocate in the Republic of Kenya. Justice Munyao holds a Bachelors of Law degree from the University of Nairobi (Kenya) and a Masters of Laws Degree from the University College London (UK).

Abstract: The place of the Environment and Land Court in the Kenyan Judiciary

Kenya promulgated a new Constitution in 2010 to replace the former 1963 Constitution that was prepared when Kenya attained independence. The 2010 Constitution brought about several changes including considerable changes to the set up of the Kenyan Judiciary. Significantly, it introduced two new courts with the status of the High Court. One of these courts is the Environment and Land Court established through Article 162 (2) (b) of the constitution.

To put in place the provisions of the Constitution, there was enacted the Environment and Land Court, Act No. 19 of 2011 which set up the E& L Court as envisioned by the constitution.

Further to the Statute, practice directions were issued by the Honorable Chief Justice to give guidance to the jurisdiction and operations of the courts and to provide for transition from the former regime to the new regime.

The setting up of the E&L court in Kenya is a landmark. Kenya is one of the few countries that has a fully fledged E&L Court.

This being a new court, it is the intention of this paper to interrogate the place of the E&L Court in the Kenyan legal system. This paper looks at the need for the E&L Court, the legal provisions setting up the court, the operationalization of the Court, Challenges and Prospects.

Organizing Committee: 11th IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Colloquium 2013