Appeal court throws out one-sided racism case
Publish date: 11 March 2019
Issue Number: 814
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Allegations of apartheid-style discrimination made by a group of doctors against an internationally-linked medical research institute have been questioned by Kenya's Court of Appeal. The court overturned an earlier decision by the High Court that found the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) infringed the doctors' rights to equality, dignity and property, among others. As Carmel Rickard explains in A Matter of Justice, her column on the Legalbrief site, the findings were particularly serious because the High Court judge had also awarded significant damages to each of the doctors against KEMRI. The doctors were involved as PhD candidates with the KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme linked to Oxford University and their initial application alleged that local black doctors were providing the equivalent of intellectual slave labour to white researchers. The Appeal Court has now dismissed the original application and the damages award, saying the High Court had considered the evidence of only one side in the matter, resulting in a 'patent injustice'.