“Let Teenagers Enjoy!” Maraga Sets the Ball Rolling

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Chief Justice David Maraga has set the balling rolling in a matter that could entirely transform the criminal justice environment for the Kenyan boy child.

Speaking during a seminar to sensitize people on gender-based violence, Maraga noted that the boychild was being unfairly targeted in the current arrangement in the law that criminalizes teenage sex.

Currently, the law prohibits sexual encounters among teenagers and sexual offenders; mainly boys are often imprisoned upon conviction.

“There’s an obvious injustice of filling up the jails with teenage offenders who get intimate with fellow teenagers as they experiment in their adolescence,” Maraga cried.

Two years ago, the Federation of Women Leaders proposed a raft of issues that Parliament refused to ratify.

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“The proposal’s intention was to elaborate principles of law and to integrate values and principals as enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya 2010. Fida had noted the problematic Section Eight of the Sexual Offences Act, which criminalises sex among teenagers and had proposed that the section be amended along the Romeo and Juliet right so as to reduce the number of teenage boys going to jail,” he argued.

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“This needs to be seriously considered. I have no problem when the perpetrator is aged, but my problem arises when it comes to boys and girls between 17-20 years,” the CJ added.

Maraga would later praise the courts for having remained steadfast on their quest for a just ruling.

“Luckily, our courts are responding well, for example when the Court of Appeal held that it is unconstitutional to criminalise sexual acts among teenagers,” he noted.

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