Entrenching consumer rights in the advocates’ disciplinary system in Kenya
This study focused on the need to entrench consumer rights in the Advocates Disciplinary System in Kenya. It was limited to two main institutions involved in the discipline of advocates in Kenya, which are the Advocates’ Complaints Commission and the Advocates’ Disciplinary Tribunal. Attention was drawn to the correlation between increase in the number of complaints against advocates and weak institutions, the effectiveness of the institutions in promoting consumer rights and ways in which the institutions can be improved to entrench consumer rights. The study was designed on a descriptive and analytic approach. Data was summarized using statistics and percentages used to quantify the level of efficiency. The study target was the complaint files available in the Advocates’ Complaints Commission and the Advocates’ Disciplinary Tribunal. The findings from the study show that despite the existence of the Advocates’ Complaints Commission and the Advocates’ Disciplinary Tribunal the legal profession has seen a startling increase in malpractice among advocates in Kenya, that the two institutions have not being effective in the promotion of consumer rights and that there is need for reform of the institutions to make them compliant with the provisions of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and the Consumer Protection Act 2012. The recommendations from the research suggested that there is a need to significantly amend the Advocates Act to change the structure of advocates discipline in Kenya and broaden its focus in order to make it more consumeroriented, decentralization of the Advocates’ Complaints Commission and the Advocates Disciplinary Tribunal services through the creation of regional offices to bring services closer to the people, employment of more staff at the Commission to deal with the workload and the introduction of a computerized case management system. Consequently, the recommendations drawn from this research paper are not confined to the Advocates’ Complaints Commission and the Advocates’ Disciplinary Tribunal but also as a guide towards influencing policy in other related institutions throughout the country.