Four students from the School of Law and Politics were given the opportunity to travel to Kenya this summer to carry out internships in Nairobi.
The University’s Global Opportunities Programme provided full funding for Law and Global Justice Law Clinic members, Josie Hebestreit, Hannah Greep, Thomas Ikin and Jack Pankhurst to take up internships at the Katiba (Constitution) Institute, founded by Professor Yash Pal Ghai, former chairperson of the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission.
The students carried out research relating to East African Land Law and Constitutional Law on behalf of the Katiba Institute and prepared reports to enable the Institute’s lawyers to prepare their legal arguments. They attended the Nairobi law courts and participated in the full range of work of the Institute during their internships.
The students were invited to the University of Nairobi to give a talk about the pro bono work they are doing at Cardiff’s Law and Global Justice clinic. They addressed law students about the transnational law cases on which the group has been working and shared their experiences of clinical legal education with their peers. The students were hosted by Lyla Latif who lectures in law at the University. Ms Latif will move to Cardiff this October to start her PhD studies as a member of the Law and Global Justice group, joining, fellow Kenyan law academic Faith Simiyu who is in the second year of her doctoral studies at Cardiff.
In addition, the students met with many colleagues in the legal profession and legal academic community across Nairobi. They were invited by Dr Smith Ouma to visit Strathmore Law School. On their visit, they heard more about Dr Ouma’s forthcoming book on Property Law in Kenya and discussed the Kenyan and Tanzanian law cases they have been researching at Cardiff.
The students attended an academic workshop on care labour at the British Institute in Eastern Africa. On their visit to the International Commission of Jurists (Kenya Section), they gave video interviews about their work.
The internship was organised by Professor Ambreena Manji and Professor John Harrington. Speaking about the visit, Professor John Harrington said: “Josie, Tom, Hannah and Jack have been wonderful ambassadors for the University and the School of Law and Politics. They are true world citizens, learning from lawyers and fellow students in Kenya about law in practice and human rights. We were delighted when our colleagues in Kenya wrote to us to commend Cardiff’s Law and Global Justice internship programme.”
Professor Julie Price, who is responsible for the School’s Pro Bono Schemes, added that the Kenyan internships were “a great opportunity which enhances our general pro bono profile in such a unique way.”
Jack Pankhurst added: “Of all the wonderful opportunities at Cardiff, this project has been the most inspiring and enriching. My internship in Nairobi was a unique chance to work among the lawyers, judges and scholars who are effecting change.”
Hannah Greep added: “I was amazed at the incredible Constitutional law work that the Katiba Institute are doing, and very pleased to have the opportunity to learn about it. The internship is something that I never thought I would have the opportunity to do.”