Documentation of wildlife crime trials is key in analyzing the performance and effectiveness of law enforcement agencies in enforcing the Wildlife Act. The Eyes in the Courtroom court monitoring team is composed of fifteen court monitors; this being nine (9) Advocates of the High Court of Kenya, six (6) lawyers led by Jim Karani, the Legal Affairs Manager.
In consultation with the JTI, WildlifeDirect developed Standard Operating Procedures for collection and analysis court records improving efficiency, quality of output and uniformity in extraction of data from the Judiciary’s criminal registry records. Data extracted from each court record includes; Case Number, Identity details of an accused person, date and location of Arrest, Arresting Authority, Date Arraigned in Court, Plea Date, Name of Magistrate, Name of Prosecutor, Prosecuting Authority, Type of Plea (Guilty or Not Guilty), Section of law contravened, Description of Offence, Species involved, Weight of wildlife product involved, Court Dates (Mention, Hearing and Judgment dates), Bail and Bond Details and Type of Sentence (Fine, Conviction, Acquittal or Withdrawal).
Analysis examined the outcome of prosecution of wildlife offences, administration and management of wildlife crime court trials, sentencing style of judges and magistrates and the variety of wildlife law offences charged in courts. Analysis provides a measure of the performance of investigatory, prosecutorial and judicial processes in addressing wildlife crime in Kenya.
Our findings provide key metrics on indictments, quality of prosecutions, nature of disposal of cases and the overall effectiveness of the law in bringing offenders to justice. This report includes a review of key findings followed by a discussion on prosecution and disposal of wildlife crime offences, a description of data collection efforts, role of court room surveys, reform recommendations while tracking implementation of recommendations from preceding reports.