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SLS Lecturer wins, ‘Best Graduate Student Paper Award’

Strathmore Law School (SLS) lecturer, Dr. Elizabeth Gachenga emerged the winner of the IUCN Academy’s 2013 Best Graduate Student Paper Award. Dr Gachenga presented at the 2013 IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Annual Colloquium held from 24-28 June, 2013 at the Waikato University, New Zealand where she was awarded the prize. Her paper, developed from one of the chapters of her thesis, seeks to make a case for the right to use customary law systems of water resource governance.


More about the paper

Dr.Gachenga argues that although many rural communities around the world including Kenya continue to use customary law systems and other informal normative systems to govern their water resources, most legal frameworks for water governance are based primarily on statutes that hardly recognize or integrate the informal systems. The integration of informal/customary and formal systems would contribute to sustainable governance of water resources. Using the case study of the Marakwet, Gachenga explores the suitability of using a human rights based approach in recognition of customary law systems of water governance. Premised on the right to water and the right to self-governance recognised by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, she explores the possibility of adopting a human rights based approach to the integration of customary law systems in statutory frameworks for water governance. The paper makes an interesting read and can be obtained from the 2013 IUCN Environmental Law Academy Website http://iucnacademy2013.org.nz/papers/


Her profile 

Dr Elizabeth Gachenga is the Associate Dean in the Strathmore School of Management and Commerce. She holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Masters in Environmental Law from the University of Nairobi and a doctorate from the University of Western Sydney. She conducted her doctoral research on integration of customary law systems in statutory frameworks of water governance for sustainable development. Elizabeth has held research assistant positions as well as lectured and tutored in corporate and business law in Strathmore University, Kenya and at the University of Western Sydney. She has also worked as faculty manager in Strathmore University and as a legal assistant and knowledge management consultant for Hamilton Harrison and Matthews, Kenya.