Duties of the legal office

The functions and duties of the Legal Office have increased immensely given the ever-changing environment and stringent measures put in place with the advent of the University of Nairobi being ISO 9001: 2008 certified. The functions and duties of the Legal Office are summed up as follows: -

 

  1. Litigation:

    This ultimately involves the management of cases in Tribunals and Courts in liaison with external lawyers appointed by the University of Nairobi. The duties include preparation of briefs, preparation of witnesses for pre-trial and hearing and preparation of updates to the management in relation to the frequent amendments of statutes. Currently, the Legal Office is managing Seven (7) court cases that are at a penultimate stage. The office is also mandated with rendering of services to the University through the Student Disciplinary Process that entails crafting of charges for students violating the Regulations governing the conduct and discipline of students.

  1. Linkage and Collaborations:

    The Legal Office is actively involved in formulation and guidance on preparation of documents such as Memoranda of Understanding, Collaboration agreements and Proposals that are duly perused by the Legal Officer with appropriate amendments/corrections being made for the document to meet the laid down stipulations for execution. This also includes the management of the Intellectual Property Policy. There are two versions of the Memoranda of Understanding and any document that goes beyond our specifications and which needs further scrutiny, one is at liberty to approach the Legal Office directly for customisation. The said documents are in template form and are easily downloadable by following the shown link. The Intellectual Property Policy is easily accessible through the given link.

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  2. General Contracts and Agreements that Bind the University of Nairobi:

    This is a broad area that involves several types of contracts and agreements between the University of Nairobi and other private/public entities. Preparation of these contractual agreements is based entirely on the need and nature of business/tenancy. These agreements are in a wide range that involves Commercial Agreements that include Leasing of University of Nairobi space to be used to erect Billboards for firms such as Magnate and Safaricom boosters respectively. There are also Normal House Residential Leases that consists of Tenancy Agreements with members of staff and private firms. We have made templates to suit your needs and nature of tenancy. You may follow the shown linkage for easy downloading. In case of any difficulty, we practice an open door policy to further guide and advise on how to go about with preparation of the Leases and Tenancy Agreements.

    We also peruse and verify procurement and maintenance contracts with suppliers of equipment from private firms to ensure that the said contracts are in order and that there is no ambiguity in the terms and that our stipulations are followed to the later.

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  3. Staff and Student Disciplinary Matters:

    The Legal Office is of paramount significance in the actualisation of the Staff and Student Disciplinary Processes as it ensures that appropriate charges are properly drawn/crafted for a disciplinary committee to be constituted for trial of the student/staff involved. This is aimed at heightening the expeditious dispensation of the matter and avoiding unnecessary delays. The Legal Office has also been involved in the formulation of statutes that govern the conduct and discipline of students from time to time for both Modules I and II respectively. The Statutes that are adversely used to facilitate crafting of charges are: -

    • Statute on regulations governing the conduct and discipline of students; and

    • Public Officer Ethics Act 2003 and the Code of Conduct and Ethics for Public Universities.

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  4. Student Indemnity:

    Through the year, students from different faculties proceed on industrial attachment in various parastatals and corporations. There are requirements to students being indemnified by the University of Nairobi and this is where the Legal Office assistance comes in handy in preparation of the said student indemnities. Students are required to get a letter from their departmental chairmen verifying their identity as students of the University of Nairobi together with an attachment letter. This will enable the Legal Officer to ascertain the details of the student for him/her to be indemnified. The Indemnity Form is filled in duplicate before execution. A letter to the company where the student is due for attachment is prepared for the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration and Finance) to append his signature. The Indemnity Form is easy downloadable through the shown linkage.

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  5. Declaration of Income, Assets and Liabilities (Public Officer Ethics Act 2003):

    Under Section 26 of the Public Officer Act 2003, every Public Officer is required to fill Declaration Forms every Two (2) years and the Legal Office is mandated with ensuring that this mandatory Legal requirement is strictly adhered to. The Legal Office procures the forms from the Commission of Higher Education by requesting a certain number of forms, which are then sorted out and distributed to departments through their respective colleges. This is done by preparation of payroll printout to ascertain the Public Officers still in service and then sending correspondence to College Registrars to oversee the smooth running of the process by ensuring that all members of staff that fall under their jurisdiction get to fill the forms.

    A circular is also prepared, giving notice to all members of staff on collection and submission dates of the said forms to their respective college/unit for onward transmission by the Legal Office to the Commission of Higher Education.

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  6. Funeral Assistance for Members of Staff and Students:

    The Legal Office also assists the bereaved family members in processing letters for approval for mortuary waiver and coffin reimbursement after presentation of original receipts for the same. This is ascertained by the deceased’s grade to enable appropriate allotment of funds. The Coffin Reimbursement only covers the staff member and is not extended to spouse/partner, children or dependants.

    The University of Nairobi does not cover post-mortem costs, except in special cases with the approval of the Vice Chancellor. The Legal Office initiates the processes to conclusion of the matter. This is in line with the approved University of Nairobi’s policy and in tandem to the ISO 9001:2000 certification.

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  7. Vetting of Staff:

     

    To uphold the integrity, image and competence of the University of Nairobi, it is paramount and mandatory that the process of Vetting Members of Staff deployed in crucial/sensitive areas/units of the University of Nairobi for confidentiality purposes be strictly administered and adhered to. In line with this requirement, the Legal Office assists in the preparation of Affidavits and administration of Oaths to the relevant officers.

    The exercise is conducted in the presence of the Vice Chancellor, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration and Finance) and or the Registrar, Administration. A copy of the Affidavit is retained in the Legal Office, a copy in the personal file of the staff member and the sworn member of staff another copy.

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  8. Pension Matters:

    The Legal Office offers Legal Advise and preparation of Legal Instruments, on request by the Board of Trustees University of Nairobi Pension Scheme. The Legal Office is also instrumental in the process of conducting election of trustees to the said Pension Scheme where the Legal Officer is the Internal Returning Officer to ensure transparency, integrity and accountability of the election process and to also to ensure trust and confidence of the members.

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  9. Record Keeping:

    The Legal Office is mandated with keeping certain University of Nairobi Instruments and documents as well as general, personnel and files from other units that have suits filed in court. Record keeping shall be as a result of the individual activities of the Quality Management System(QMS) and shall also be the objective evidence that the actual practice conforms to the written procedures.

    Records shall be appropriately identified before being stored in suitable locations, which allow normal protection from deterioration or damage and from where they can be easily retrieved.

    The Legal Office always calls for Students and Staff files from their respective registries to enable proper filing of incoming litigation matters for the Legal Officer to deal further.

    The Legal Office endeavours to deliver timely services to the whole divide impartially and in line with the ISO 9001:2000 certification standards. In delivery of the same and with the nature of work undertaken, the Legal Office works outside the normal working hours to ensure prompt and satisfactory service delivery to all.

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