Comparative law and justice/Kenya

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Basic Information

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Kenya is located Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Somalia and Tanzania. The geographic coordinates are 1 00 N, 38 00 E. The total area of Kenya is 580,367 sq km, the land total is 569,140 sq km and the water total is 11,227 sq km. The country Kenya is slightly more than twice size of Nevada. Kenya’s land boundaries are a total 3,477 km. The border countries are Ethiopia 861 km, Somalia 682 km, Sudan 232 km, Tanzania 769 km, and Uganda 933 km. Kenya’s coastline stands at 536 km, the Kenya’s climate varies from tropical along coast to arid in the interior. The elevation extremes lowest point is the Indian Ocean at 0 m the highest point stands at 5,199 m that is Mount Kenya. The natural resources of Kenya are limestone, soda ash, salt, gemstones, fluorspar, zinc, diatomite, gypsum, wildlife, and hydropower. The ethnic groups that reside in Kenya are “Kikuyu 22%, Luhya 14%, Luo 13%, Kalenjin 12%, Kamba 11%, Kisii 6%, Meru 6%, other African 15%, non-African (Asian, European, and Arab) 1%” "Protestant 45%, Roman Catholic 33%, Muslim 10%, indigenous beliefs 10%, other 2%" The two official languages spoken in Kenya are english and kiswahili, there are also numerous other languages spoken. [1]

Brief History

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President Jomo Kenyatta was who led Kenya from 1963 until 1978. His time as president was cut short due to his unfortunate death due to old age. Eventually a new president was brought in by the name of Danial Toroitich. A lot of Kenya’s country success is credited to Danial Toroitich.

Economic Development, Health, and Education

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The GDP the (purchasing power Parity) was recorded at 62.48 billion in with a growth rate at 2.6% the year 2009. The GDP-per capita was $1,600 in the year 2009, with 200 other countries similar. Kenya’s exports were at $4.459 billion in the year 2009, slightly lower than 2008 when it was at $5.04 billion. The exports that are disturbed from Kenya are tea, horticultural products, coffee, petroleum products, fish, and cement. The export partners of Kenya are” UK 11.31%, Netherlands 9.81%, Uganda 9.07%, Tanzania 8.83%, US 5.93%, Pakistan 5.63%” as of 2009. Kenya’s imports come from ” India 11.67%, China 10.58%, UAE 9.32%, South Africa 8.36%,Saudi Arabia 6.53%, US 6.25%, Japan 5.1%” in 2009. Imports Kenya receives are transportation equipment, petroleum products, iron, steel, plastic, and motor vehicles. In 2009 an estimated $ 9.715 billion was spent on imports. The Infant mortality rate stands at a median of 53.49 deaths out of 1000 live births. The male and female rates are quite similar, but there is a slight difference with males at 56.28 and females at 50.63 out of 1000 births each. It shows that 44 countries have similar information. The Median of the life expectancy in Kenya stands at 58.82 years out of the total population. Female have a slight higher life expectancy rate at 59.32 over males who are at 58.33 years. [2]

Governance, Elections, and Judicial Review

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Kenya has three forms of government executive,legislative, and judicial. The chief of state for the executive branch is Mwai Kibaki and his vice president is stephen Kalonzo Musyoka. The president is not in control of any of the government business, the prime minster mr.Raila odinga, is in charge of that. In Kenya the cabinet is selected by the president and is lead by the prime minister. Kenya's national assembly 224 seats and 210 members, the members are elected and are expected to serve a five year term. The president is the person who selects 12 members but they must still be elected by their parties.Court of Appeal (chief justice is appointed by the president); High Court Each president that is elected doe's a five year term and has an option to do a second term. When running for president you must get the most overall votes but must win 25% of the votes in five out of Kenya's seven provinces. the last election was held in december 2007 and the next one will be december 2012. Kenya has an republic government ad was given their independence december 12, 1963. They receives independence from the British of east Africa. [3]

Courts and Criminal Law

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The Kenya court system has 5 different systems.the 5 courts is the court of Appeal High Court that handles moving courts to one region to another, the Resident Magistrate's Court, the District Magistrates Courts and the traditional courts. The high court holds a total of 12 judges. The chief of Justice, which is another way of calling the head judge is appointed by the President of Kenya. The president is also incharge of appointing the the other 11 judges [4]


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There are many Penalties for criminal in Kenya just like any other common countries. A criminal can receive minor punishment such as community service, probation, and fines. The punishment can also be as much as a determinate prison sentences, life in prison without parole, and the death penalty. One of the most common crimes to be punished for is murder. The maximum penalty is death and its done by being hung, but you can also be sentenced to life in prison depending on circumstances.the prison conditions are not so bad, it shows that they can recieve time off for good behavior and time added for bad behavior. When you are in prison you must be registered in some kind of education program. The dangerous offenders are exempt form the education programs. Inmates with good behavior are allow to go on weekend leave, play sports, and have group therapy in some prisons. To be prosecuted as an adult you must be over the age of 17 to be tried as an adult. There are some ways a minor can be tried as an adult with a crime such as murder. There were no reports of favoritism ethnic group, gender, and religion when it comes to legal punishment in Kenya.


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In Kenya the police the police are trained by going to a Kiganjo Police college. In fact some of Kenya's police recruits are sent over for special training in Europe and America. some of the training the recruits have done are similar to what is done by our FBI agency. The education requirements can be a high school diploma but some still hold college degrees. When a suspect is brought in for questioning some police force people to admit to committing a crime. These methods are Usually used when the police don't catch the suspect in the act of the crime. The Kenya Armed forces include Kenya’s army, navy, and air force. The military obligation is a minimum of 9 years and the navy is only 7 years. In order to apply to the Kenya army you must a citizen of Kenya and present a national identity card. A national identity card you can only receive at the age of 18, u also needs a school leaving certificate. You are able to join younger than 18 be having a parents’ consent.

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Crime Rates and Public Opinion

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In the country of Kenya crime is common due to the poverty being at 50% and the unemployment being at 40%. The typical crimes that are committed are murder, force able rape, theft, and drug offenses. The reported homicide rate was recorded 3.5% of 100,000 of the population. The crime rate for force able rape was recorded at 1.3% of 100,000 and a highest rated crime was recorded at 72.9% out of 100,000. I would say it is so high due to the poverty rate being so high. Drug offense are report to also be very common. [8]


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Family Law

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The common marriage style in Kenya was polygamy. Kenyan society has quickly transited into a monogamous one. Polygamy is having more then one spouse, it was never uncommon for a a man to have multiple wives. In order for a man to marry a woman, he must get approval of the woman father. usually in order to marry a mans daughter you are subject to a fee. The 1st wife is the most expensive one. the inheritance is passed from father to son but women can get the inheritance. they must go through a legal and cultural process to be granted the inheritance. [9]

Human Rights and Social Inequality

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The economic, social and cultural rights say that you have the rights to food, housing, water, healthcare, sanitation, social security, Liberty, privacy, religion, belief,education, and political rights. The people of Kenya are protected by any kind of discrimination to persons with disabilities, older members of society, youth and children. [10]

Works Cited

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