NGO Coordination Board v. Eric Gitari & Ors (2019)

On Friday 22 March 2019, the Kenyan Court of Appeal held that the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC) should be allowed to register as a national NGO. The case had been first brought in 2013 by Eric Gitari, then Executive Director of NGLHRC, after the NGO Coordination Board had refused NGLHRC’s registration on the basis that it was for gay and lesbian people. In 2015, the High Court found in favour of Mr Gitari, but the NGO Coordination Board appealed to the Court of Appeal. The Attorney General, who was also a respondent in the High Court, did not, however, appeal. The Court of Appeal, by a 3-2 majority, upheld the 2015 decision of the High Court. They considered that the failure to register NGLHRC was unconstitutional, violating Article 27 (equality and non-discrimination) and Article 36 (freedom of association) of the Constitution of Kenya.