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Kenyans Will Soon Receive Court Summons Via WhatsApp

Kenya’s Parliament is considering passing into law an act that will allow the sending of summons via messaging applications.

Summons may be sent by mobile-enabled messaging applications to the defendants’ last known and used telephone number

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The chair of the Kenyan Law Society said that this was a positive development:

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For a start, the recognised mode would be text or an email and WhatsApp. But moving forward there will be no problem serving people with verified Twitter accounts.

WhatsApp will give the sender delivery reports. If you switch off the blue ticks, that is your problem.

Whilst it’s not clear how the Kenyan government plans to enforce this and confirm if the person they intend to receive the summons has actually received them. In fact, this is particularly the reason why Kenya didn’t go through with such a law back in 2017 citing that use of mediums like WhatsApp would ” raise questions of proof of delivery, acknowledgement of receipt of service, proof of identity of the intended recipient”.

Outside of Kenya, India approved the serving of summons via WhatsApp back in 2017 with the double-tick acting as the proof of delivery of summons.


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