Kenya High Court upholds criminalisation of adolescent consensual sex, ignores gender bias in the law

Many thanks to Godfrey Kangaude, LL.M. (UFS), LL.M. (UCLA), Executive Director of the Malawi Law Society and Co-Director of Nyale Institute for Sexual and Reproductive Health Governance, and Mobby Rusere, an LL.M. candidate in Sexual and Reproductive Rights in the Centre for Human Rights,  Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, for collaborating on this case summary and analysis for Legal Grounds III: Reproductive and Sexual Rights in Sub-Saharan African Courts, forthcoming in 2016.

CKW v. Attorney General & Director of Public Prosecution, Petition No. 6 of 2013 (High Court of Kenya)  Decision online.  Summary and analysis online.    Facts:  The petitioner, who was 16 years old at the material time, was facing a charge before the magistrate’s court for the offence of  defilement, for having had penetrative penile-vaginal sex with a girl of 16, which was contrary to Sections 8(1) and 8(4) of the Sexual Offences Act, 2006 (Sexual Offences Act). This was an application before the High Court of Kenya lodged on behalf of a minor petitioning the court to declare Sections 8 (1) and 11 (1) of the Sexual Offences Act invalid to the extent that they criminalise sexual relationships between consenting adolescents.

Legal Grounds I and II, online here, contain summaries and analyses of 107 decisions from African Commonwealth Courts.  Both were published by the Center for Reproductive Rights in 2005 and 2010.
Newer case summaries drafted for “Legal Grounds III” are online here.   These also include a 2012 decision holding Kenyan police accountable for failure to investigate child sexual assaults and a 2011 Ugandan decision on maternal mortality and the constitutional right to health.

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