In the recent concluded University of Nairobi week, the Faculty of Law got the industry, the government and academia discussing ways social innovations for Social Development Goals.
Speaking during the event, Dean, Prof. Winnie Kamau, observed that the Faculty of Law is committed to research contributions, policy, legal interventions in Kenya and region and globally. “We have centers of Excellence like CASELAP, Fiscal Studies, Maritime Center,” she said.
Prof. Margaret Hutchingson, Associate Vice Chancellor, Research, observed that Kenya is lagging behind in achieving SGD Goals. “We have a progressive constitution; we need to progressively improve the livelihood of our citizens. Law is the thread that will enable us go there. The cement that holds nations together is the rule of law. We desire to drive our conversations through evidence based research. We are in the business of providing quality university education and training, " she said.
Prof. Hutchingson observed that everything in life is based on a legal contract, be it buying a house, job interviews, procurement laws, buying land, and everything else that we do in life.
Prof. Patricia Kameri Mbote : Director Law, UNEP, who was the Chief Guest during the event, observed that sustainable development is a concern for all, not just environmental lawyers. The main concern for United Nations is “How do you realize economic development without leaving anyone behind?”, she said.
The noted that economic inequality is growing and there is extreme climate change as animals die in the national parks. People are facing extreme hunger. She reiterated the SDG mantra: leave no one behind.
According to Prof. Kameri Mbote, inclusive development involves reduction of poverty, reduction of inequality. She interrogated the right to life. “What kind of life are we talking about if you have no food and no water?”, she asked. Prof. Mbote challenged the academia to embrace social innovation inclusion in teaching law students. She also challenged the academy to develop an interface between science and law. Once such prominent example has been the healing of the Ozone lawyer. “Healing of the Ozone Layer was due to a collaboration between lawyers and scientists. “Scientists notices a hole in the ozone layer. Later came up with Montreal protocol”, she said.
Dr. Elizabeth Muli, who was also speaking during the event observed that States need to ensure equal access and opportunities to men and women in the teaching of technical education in the country. She opined that the SDG will for-see the future we wish to see. In her remarks, she noted that social justice will embrace equal rights and opportunities for all. “All individuals are entitled to social rights and opportunities. Law affects every arena of our lives; workspace, health, education, business endeavors,” She said.