ACCESS TO JUSTICE DEPARTMENT
This programme is charged with the responsibility of providing legal advice to all clients based on forensic medical evidence available, coordinating the representation of clients in court by lawyers forming the IMLU legal network in select cases and referrals to relevant organizations for further assistance such as the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights. The department also conducts capacity building on torture and human rights targeting health care practitioners, lawyers, counselors, journalists, civil society representatives, paralegals and students.
Access to justice involves two key components: The access to an effective remedy and reparation for the victim. The Government has the obligation to criminalize torture, to investigate all allegations and to prosecute perpetrators. Reparations broadly comprise the range of individual and collective measures that may be taken to address wrongs suffered by victims of human rights abuses. It aims to erase all the consequences of the violation and re-establish the situation, which would, in all probability, have existed if the violation had not occurred. There are five widely acknowledged forms of reparation: restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition.
In order for torture victims to have access to an effective remedy and reparations it is imperative that effective national mechanisms and procedures are in place. IMLU promotes this through its national advocacy work targeting a wide range of bodies including the relevant police department, the judiciary, the ministry of justice and finally the ministry of health.
Principles and values
The programme is founded on the Istanbul protocol Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment – known as the Istanbul Protocol (IP). The protocol recognizes the need to assist torture victims in the society.