BLOW TO LSK AS COURT DECLINES TO SUSPEND LAW ALLOWING PRESIDENT TO APPOINT CJ.

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Law Society of Kenya Chief Executive Officer Apollo Mboya, Prof Tom Ojienda, Nzamba Kitonga and Michael Muchemi outside a courtroom at Milimani law court after high court declined to suspend implementation of the Judicial Service Act which gives the President power to appoint the Chief Justice on Wednesday January 13, 2015.
BY SAM ALFAN.
Law Society of Kenya on Wednesday suffered a major setback after the High Court declined to suspend the implementation of the Judicial Service Act which gives the President power to appoint the Chief Justice

Judge Isaac Lenaola said he does not see why he should grant any temporary orders to suspend the law at this moment saying Justice Odunga found no urgency to do so when the matter was filed.

Two weeks ago Judge George Odunga declined to give temporary orders suspending the law but certified LSK matter as urgent.

Judge George Odunga said: “I am not satisfied to grant orders of stay as there is no likelihood any action will be taken in the next seven days.”

This is after Law Society of Kenya moved to court through lawyers Nzamba Gitonga, Prof Tom Ojienda, Michael Muchemi and Peter Wanyama this morning seeking the high court to suspend the act claiming its unconstitutional act.

Mr Kitonga said the matter was urgent given that the Judiciary is currently involved in the recruitment of the Deputy Chief Justice and if the orders are not granted, there was likelihood that the unconstitutional criteria prescribed in the amendment will be used.

The amendment changed the Act to compel the Judicial Service Commission to forward three names to the President instead of one as provided for previously.

Lawyer Nzamba Gitonga told the court that the matter is of great public interest and orders sought would not prejudice the Attorney General and the national Assembly.

He further said the senate was not involved when the amendment were passed by the National Assembly as per Article 118 which is a gross violation of the constitution.

Several organizations filed their application on the matter seeking to be enjoined as interested party on the matter which was not opposed.

Kituo cha Sheria and International Commission of Jurists joined as friends of the court.
Lawyer Soyinka Lempaa made a successful application for Kituo Chha Sheria and other two organizations.

Some of the organization enjoined as interested parties in the matter are the Centre for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance, the Reforms Education Consortium, the Katiba Institute, Kenya Human Rights Commission, National Civil Society Congress and the Judicial Service Commission.
LSK asked the court to order immediate suspension of the implementation of the new law.

It says the law erodes the independence of the judiciary and makes the Judicial Service Commission subject to control of the executive.

In the amendment of the Judicial Service Commission Act, a requirement was introduced for the commission to forward to the President three names of qualified candidates for the position of Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice.


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