BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,11TH DEC,2021-The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji is this year’s Jurist of the Year.
The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya) awarded him the annual award in an event graced by the EU ambassador to Kenya Henriette Geiger.
Haji was recognised as a visionary leader who has transformed the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution to one of the most responsive and independent offices to the needs of the people of Kenya.
The award recognizes a sitting judge in recognition of that judge’s contribution to the advancement of international human rights law or international criminal law.
The DPP was lauded for development and operationalisation of various policy documents, including; “The Guidelines on the Decision to Charge, 2019”, being recognised as an impactful policy in the justice sector.
Haji through a weekly show live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube called the ‘ODPP Café’ facilitated the access to information by the public.
The ODPP Café, educates and engages the public on matters such as plea-bargaining, diversion, the decision to charge, ODPP policies, human rights, and juvenile justice, among others.
Through his leadership and guidance, Haji achieved several milestones such as adopting robust policies and strategic initiatives that have enhanced prosecution services as well as strengthening interagency coordination, regional and international networks.
He also promoted access to justice and restored confidence in the criminal justice sector.
In addition to safeguarding the ODPP’s independence, powers, and functions as stated in the Constitution of Kenya, the guidelines have equipped prosecutors with the requisite skills to exercise their prosecutorial powers transparently and objectively.
The DPP remains committed to implementing an effective prosecution and aims at maintain the rule of law and contribution of fair and equitable criminal justice with the effective protection of citizens against crime.
This is the first time since 1993, that the award is going to a prosecutor and a Director of Public Prosecutions.