eviction – lack of alternative land – amicus curiae - High Court of Kenya
SERI is part of the ESCR-Net Adjudication Working Group, which has been working to facilitate litigation and amicus support though the development of a Litigation Forum. In 2011, the Working Group was asked by the Centre for Economic and Social Rights (Hakijamii) to prepare an amicus submission in a case they are advancing in the High Court of Kenya on a forced eviction that took place in December 2010. Thus, the Social and Economic Rights Programme of the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights (NCHR), the Global Initiative for ESCR (GI-ESCR), Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI), the Center for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA) and the Social Rights Advocacy Center (SRAC) joined together to submit an intervention regarding injunctive relief in the following case: Ibrahim Sangor Osman and the 1 122 Evictees of Medina Location, Municipal Council of Garissa v the Hon. Minister Of State for Provincial Administration & Internal Security and Others. Below is a short description of the case.
In December 2010, 1 122 people living in Medina location, Municipal Council of Garissa, Kenya were rendered homeless and had personal property - including building materials and household goods - destroyed during an eviction. Following the eviction, they were not provided with alternative land or alternative housing and were not provided adequate notice nor the opportunity for meaningful participation in decisions related to the eviction. The eviction resulted in the residents relocating to areas where access to free and compulsory basic education for children as well as other essential services was compromised. The amicus submission requests the court to issue interim measures, including injunctive relief, to prevent any further evictions in the area as well as mandatory injunction, or a ‘writ of mandamus’ to return the victims as close as possible to the status quo ante. This is an interim measure pending a hearing on the merits in due course.
On 16 November 2011, the High Court of Kenya handed down its judgment in the matter, awarding permanent accommodation and compensation for damages for those forcibly evicted. SERI, together with the other members of the ESCR-Net International Adjudication Working Group, made submissions as amicus curiae and SERI’s contribution is particularly evident in the judgment, which cites South African case law that was forwarded for inclusion in the brief.