Presentation on theme: "LAW REPORTING IN KENYA: Editorializing Caselaw - the Kenya Law Reports Editorial Process (Part II) Presented at the African Legal Information Institute,"— Presentation transcript:
LAW REPORTING IN KENYA: Editorializing Caselaw - the Kenya Law Reports Editorial Process (Part II) Presented at the African Legal Information Institute, Johannesburg on July 31 st 2012 By Monica Achode, HoD, Editorial Department National Council for Law Reporting - Kenya
The Editorial Work-flow Process
Each report of a judicial opinion must show the following: the presiding judicial officer/s; the registry reference number for the case; the parties; the nature of the pleadings; the essential facts; the points contended for by counsel; the grounds on which the opinion is based; the judgment, decree, or order actually pronounced; the date of the judgment, decree or order; the advocates/attorneys appearing for the parties; The name of the reporter.
Guidelines of a General Nature for the Editorial Team Reports on a judgment with little or no information respecting pleadings, the evidence, or the arguments, are of no real utility; whilst those, on the other hand, which give the pleadings, the evidence, and arguments at unnecessary length, are open to objection, that they entail waste of time and trouble on those who have to procure and read them. Both classes of reports are discreditable to their authors; for both are the result of idleness and indifference to the wants of those for whom the Reports are intended.
With respect to the publication of Law Reports, it is desirable- That they should be published as speedily as is consistent with a conscientious discharge of the Reporter’s duties; That they should be printed in clear type, on good paper, and be of a convenient portable size; That they should be accompanied by good indexes and marginal headings; That they should be sold for the lowest price which is consistent with the payment of the expense of their publication.
BEST PRACTICES IN THE PREPARATION OF CASE SUMMARIES Law Reporting Skills Law reporting requires aptitude, hard work and attention to detail. Law reporting theory: Understanding of the meaning, origin, justification and the state of Law Reporting in Anglo-American jurisprudence; Legal editing skills: The ability to perform copyediting, content editing and proofreading of judicial opinions and an understanding of the stylistic and mechanical aspects unique to legal writing; Legal analysis – Legal analytical and logical reasoning skills - The ability to summarize judicial opinions by synthesizing and editing complex information and presenting it concisely and accurately;
Legal research – Mastery of legal research techniques, including, how to locate and analyze legal authority; the art of statutory interpretation; proper legal citation; identifying the obiter dicta and the ratio decidendi in a judicial opinion; legal research software applications and Internet research; strong understanding of current legal issues. Reporters’ gloss - A Law Report should not be sullied with the reporters’ opinion, bias, preconceptions and judgment. In a high profile case, a reporter might tend to depart from the usual simple narrative by being sensational and showing an intimacy with the facts or the law which goes beyond the judge’s own analysis of the evidence. This is not permissible and it is unnecessary. A statement of the facts giving rise to the claim, or a defence, accompanied by a reference to the relevant statutory provision, should make the position clear so that the reporter does not need to comment: “Thus the plaintiff/defendant was entitled to…” or “That section provides……”
Practical Session 1: Selection of Reportable Cases