The following is a summary of your rights as guaranteed by Section 49 & 50 of the Constitution of Kenya. To view your full rights, access the online Constitution here. If you think you may have had your rights violated or you have any questions on your rights, please contact us at (020) 4400525. 

SECTION 49. RIGHTS OF ARRESTED PERSONS

When you're arrested, you will likely be taken to a police station, held in custody and questioned. As an arrested person, you are guaranteed the following rights:

a) The right to be promptly informed in a language that you understand, of:

  • the reason for your arrest
  • that you have the right to remain silent, and
  • the consequences of not remaining silent

b) The right to remain silent
c) The right to talk to an advocate or other person whose assistance you may need
d) The right to not be forced into any confession or admission that can be used as evidence against you
e) The right to be held separately from other people who are serving a sentence
f) The right to be brought before a court within 24 hours (or the next available court date if you are arrested on a weekend or public holiday)
g) At your first court appearance, you must either be charged or informed of the reason for your continued detention or the reason for your release
h) The right to post bond or bail, on reasonable conditions, until you are either charged or your trial date

If the offence you have been arrested for is punishable by a fine only or by imprisonment of not more than six months, you have the right to not be held in custody

 

section 50. right to a fair hearing

Should you need to appear in court because you have being charged with an offence, you have the following rights:

a) The right to have any dispute that can be resolved by the application of law decided in a fair and public hearing before a court 

b) As an accused person, you have the right to a fair trial, which includes the right:

i) to presumed innocence until proven otherwise
ii) to be informed of the charge you are facing, with sufficient detail to respond to it
iii) adequate time and facilities to prepare your defence
iv) to a public trial in a court established under the Constitution
v) to have the trial begin and conclude without reasonable delay and to be present when being tried
vi) to choose, and be represented by, an advocate, and to be informed of this right promptly
vii) to have an advocate assigned by the State and at State expense, if substantial injustice would otherwise result, and to be informed of this right promptly
viii) to remain silent, and not testify during the proceedings
ix) to be informed in advance of the evidence the prosecution intends to rely on, and to have reasonable access to that evidence
x) to show and challenge evidence and refuse to give any self-incriminating evidence
xi) to have the assistance of an interpreter without payment if you cannot understand the language used at trial
xii) to not be tried for an offence which you have previously been acquitted or convicted for
xiii) to appeal to, or apply for a review by a higher court, if convicted of an offence

c) Any evidence obtained against you in a manner that violates any right of fundamental freedom in the Bill of Rights shall be excluded if admission of that evidence would  make the trial unfair, or would be damaging to the administration of justice

d) You are entitled during your trial to receive a copy of the record of proceedings of the trial upon request (unless being tried by summary procedures) and to receive a copy of the record of proceedings within a reasonable period after they are concluded for a reasonable fee