HENRY J.A. LUGULU,
LL.B[Nairobi], LL.M[Columbia], Diploma in Law[Kenya School of Law].
The Moi University School of Law, established in 1995 as the second Faculty of Law in Kenya, is 17 years old this year. During this period, great strides have been made in the revolution of the teaching of law in East Africa, through the introduction of clinical legal education that was pioneered at Moi University Law School. In this way, students are exposed to the practical application of legal concepts learned in class in substantive law seminars and clinical seminars in our Legal Aid Clinic, where the lecturers in collaboration with the private bar in Eldoret, provide free legal advice and services to indigent members of the public using the students as paralegal personnel. This enables us not only to provide much needed free legal services, to members of society who would not otherwise afford them, but also to teach our studdents both the interface between legal theory and practice and the virtues of using private resources for the public good. In addition, it not only enables us to fulfill our philosophy that experiential learning empowers students to discover knowledge faster, but also helps us meet corporate social responsibilities.
Drawing inspiration from our motto, Law for Justice and National Development (Sheria Kwa Haki Na Maendeleo Ya Nchi ), our graduates havecontinued to serve inthepublic service both nationally and internationally and to shine in whatever careers they have undertaken throughout the world. Of the first graduates of 1994, one is a professor of Law in Australia- Professor Jackson Maogoto; another works at the World Bank - Dr.Victor Mosoti; yet another is a renowned teacher of law Prof. Abraham Kithure Kindiki, Ms Evelyne Kamau works at International CriminalTribunal for Rwanda at Arusha, while Hassan Omar Hassan, a renowned Human Rights Activist, is assured of getting elected to parliament in the next elections, to name but a few for lack space to enumerate all the outstanding careers of the brilliant graduates we have produced over the years.
To enable us fulfill our mandate, The Moi University School of Law is divided into four teaching Departments namely, Public Law Department, headed by John K. Chebii; Private Law Department, headed by Dr. Michael N. Wabwile, Commercial Law Department headed by Mrs. Freda Githiru, and lastly the Legal Clinics And Externships Department, headed by Maurice Oduor. We have proposed to set up a fifth Department of International and Comparative Law, in order to help us harness the opportunities in this important field and coordinate teaching at higher levels for the benefit of our students. To provide administrative services, we have Immaculate E. Kwedho in charge of Academic Affairs; Ms Emmy Soy in Charge of Administrative Affairs; Mr. Charles Butaki as the School Accountant and Mrs. Loice Mathenge as the School Librarian among others, may I thank all of them for the continued support they have extented to the Dean’s office.
Over the years, we have had tremendous help from the University of Pittsburg in Pennsylvania, U.S.A., who have given us scholarships and trained our best overall students since 1999, who have returned as faculty to the Moi School of Law. I take this opportunity to once again register our trully heartfelt sincere gratitude and overflowing thanks to Dean and Professor John Burkoff, Professor Ronald Brand, Director University of Pittsburg Center for International Legal Studies and the entire Pittsburg University School Of Law faculty for these unmatched acts of generosity. In 2010, we entered collaborations with Indiana University and Purdue University in Indianapollis from the United States and The University of Cape Town from South Africa, to have student and faculty exchanges beginning last year. These patnerships also entail grants of scholarships to our best performing students to undertake post graduate studies at these world class Universities. The Indiana University has, indeed, already admitted on scholarship and graduated one of our 2010 graduates class with, a Master of Laws degree, at their Indianapolis campus. For this we are grateful to Dean and Professor Gary R. Roberts and the entire Faculty of Indiana University School of Law and Associate Dean And Professor Evans Kaluna and the entire Faculty of The University of Cape Town School of Law.
We are also in discussions to set up five centres of research and executive education, these are, Center for Sports and Entertainment Law; Centre for Law, Science and Technology; Centre for Environmental and Natural Resources Law; Centre for Law and Development, and Centre for Legislative Drafting. This is a very important milestone in the development of law teaching in East Africa as these centres will bring together professionals in the various fields in the conduct of collaborative research; provide short modular courses to professionals in a continuing professional development process and facilitate interactions between our students and these professionals. In addition to the Moi University Legal Aid Clinic, for which we have registered a Trust in collaboration with the Human Rights Development Institute of South Africa, we hope to enable our students, faculty and development partners to make an impact not only in experiential law teaching, but also in solving legal problems at individual and public levels. We will continue to explore other avenues to increase the opportunities for our students because we believe our own future belongs to and can only be secured by our students. We therefore invest heavily in them by registering them to participate in both regional and international moot court competitions including African Human Rights Moot Court and the African Trade and Investments Law moot court both held in South Africa and The Phillip Jessup International Law Moot court competition in the U.S.A. This year our team of Jerusha Owino and Violla Gari won the Best Team Award and Jerusha Owino won the Best Oralist Award of the Sixth African Trade and Investments Law. The entire Moi University School of Law congratulates these outstanding students for celebrating our fifteen year’s anniversary in style. We have been invited to enter the Oxford International Law moot court competition and we plan to win it too.
In order to build on the gains so far realised, we plan to set up an endowment fund to give tuition scholarships to our bright but needy students whose progress gets hampered by lack of fees. In terms of curriculum, we have revised our LL.B curriculum to attune it to progressive developments in society. We also plan to launch our very vibrant Master of Laws Degree programme in September this year as more particularly stated in the departmental biefs and Doctor of Philosophy Degree programme in the next two years. All these should then secure our rightful place at the high table of legal education service providers in Africa.
May I conclude by thanking the Moi University Council and the Vice Chancellor together with the whole University Management for their continued support to the School of Law without which we could not have done much. May I also thank the previous Deans starting with, Professor Alfonzo Gaskins whose dream has becoome a reality.The second Dean the late Professor Frank Xavier Njenga, whose outstanding stewardship is much appreciated, the fourth and immediate former Dean John Kipkoech Chebii who continues to provide examplary service to the Law school. Let me also thank all the students, faculty and support staff of the School of Law for having elected me to serve them again as Dean after my first term as the third Dean of the Law School. I am confident that with the support of everybody, we shall surmount any challenges the future may hold. May God Bless us all.