BY SAM ALFAN.
Three law students have sued Council of Legal Education over postponement of Advocate Training Program Examination.
Aron Mango’ka, Daniel Okumu and Moses Maasai want the decision of the council to postpone the April 2021 Advocate Training Program examination scheduled April 13 to 23, 2021 suspended.
The decision was contained in a general notice no. 8 of 2021 and circulated through an advertisement in the local newspaper on April 10, 2021, postponing the examination indefinitely.
The students want the court to compel council of legal education to announce the dates that it shall administer the examination.
“A conservatory order be and hereby issued in the form of structural interdict compelling council of legal education to prepare and present to the court the modalities of conducting the ATP examination online in the event that they are unable to conduct the examination physically owing to the failure to obtain approval,” they urged the court.
Through their lawyer Danstan Omari, the three argue that they were aggrieved by the Council’s unilateral decision on account of failure to obtain authority to conduct examination from relevant agencies charged with management of the covid-19 pandemic.
According to the documents filed in court, the applicants and the bar candidates who registered in 2016, 2017, 2018 risked of being locked out from the advocates Training program by operation of law under regulation. 9(5) of the council of legal education (Kenya School of Law Regulation) 2009 that limits and advocate Training program to five years from the date of registration.
“Administration actions by public bodies should ensure certainty in the decisions to avert the off shooting of the settled principle of legal certainty in its decision postponing the examination indefinitely leaves the applicants and the bar candidates scheduled to resit, retake or reattempt the examination with anxiety and mental anguish,” they added.
The three argued that that the decision to postpone the examination for the second time is manifestly unlawful, unconstitutional causes unnecessary hardship to them in the guise of combating covid-19.
They said they have legitimate expectation to undertake the examinations next month based on the Council’s General notice 6 and 7 of 2021 communicated that council had set in place all mechanism and logistics to administer examinations to the candidates.