Legal Digest Fall 2019

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Preamble

In this last issue of the year, we highlight recently enacted laws including the Data Protection Act 2019; the Finance Act 2019; the Copyright (Amendment) Act 2019; the Division of Revenue Act 2019; and the Small Claims Court Act Rules 2019. It will be noted that some of these laws like the Data Protection Act and the Copyright (Amendment) Act had been pending as Bills in Parliament for a while, and it is a welcome move for them to finally be enacted.

With the enactment of the EU General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 there has been a focus on data protection and enhancement of data protection laws. This trend has also been felt locally, especially with the introduction of the Huduma Number. There is more debate on the safety of personal data and Kenyans are now more aware of their rights as data subjects. The Data Protection Act is therefore a big step in the right direction and it is hoped that the government will exercise goodwill in implementation of the provisions of the Act. There is need for sensitization of the public on the provisions of the Act so that more people are informed of their rights as well as obligations when it comes to protection of personal data. The liability of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and the procedure for taking down infringing content online is also set to enhance protection of copyright material online which was long overdue.

From the courts, we have featured legal precedents focusing on employment matters and constitutional petitions. The High Court gave a landmark ruling in the case of J W M (alias P) v Board of Management O High School & 2 others [2019] eKLR where the court held that the refusal to admit a student who was of the Rastafarian faith due to her dreadlocks was an infringement on their freedom of religion.

Internationally, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom also made a ground-breaking ruling on 24 September 2019, in a unanimous decision by eleven justices, where they found that the advice given by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Her Majesty the Queen to prorogue the UK Parliament was both unlawful and void.

Happy Reading!

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