British Army subject to Kenyan Law, court rules

Nanyuki Law Courts

Nanyuki Law Courts. The court ruled that it has jurisdiction to determine suit pitting British Army against Lolldaiga community.

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

Local courts have jurisdiction to hear and determine matters involving the British Army Training Unit in Kenya (Batuk), a Lands Court has ruled.

In a suit pitting Batuk against the Lolldaiga community, Justice Antonina Kossy Bor of the Environment Court in Nanyuki found that the United Kingdom (UK) government waived its state of immunity by signing the Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA), implemented in 2016.

In her ruling Thursday, the judge, however, issued stay orders on the suit and directed that the matter be heard before the Inter-Governmental Liaison Committee, as directed by the DCA signed by Kenya and UK governments.

“I found that the petitioners- African Centre for Corrective and Preventive Action and the Lolldaiga community – moved to court before exhausting other dispute resolution mechanisms,” she ruled.

The DCA stipulates that all civil matters be heard before the committee which comprises members of the UK and Kenyan governments.

After arriving at a decision on the matter, the Inter-Governmental Liaison Committee will present its determination to the court within a period of 14 days.

If the two parties fail to amicably resolve the matter under the committee, the petitioners have the liberty to move back to court for the suit to proceed.

Also sued in the matter is the Lolldaiga Hills limited and Batuk’s Army Commanding Officer.