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Pirates: Kenya

Volume 715: debated on Tuesday 1 December 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Brett on 4 November (WA 61) concerning the administration of justice in Kenya, what assessment they have made of whether Kenya is an appropriate jurisdiction for the trial of pirates captured by the Royal Navy. [HL79]

The UK and Kenya have entered into a framework Memorandum of Understanding for the transfer of suspect pirates. This affirms that the suspects will be treated in accordance with international human rights law standards, including the right to a fair trial. The UK Government have worked with the European Commission and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to complete reviews of the legal framework in Kenya, to assess the adequacy of the Kenyan judicial, legal and prison systems for prosecuting pirates in accordance with international standards, and to provide assistance where appropriate. This assistance has included supporting prosecutors through ensuring evidence handover protocols are in place and training in the law of the sea. The UK Government hope that in addition to strengthening Kenya's legal capacities, this support will provide impetus to faster implementation of Kenya's judicial reform programme, in line with the recommendations set out by Kenya's judicial reform task force.