ICJ raises alarm on public row between Maraga, AG KIhara - Beaking Kenya News

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Thursday, 18 June 2020

ICJ raises alarm on public row between Maraga, AG KIhara

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The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) has raised a red flag over the current standoff between the Judiciary and the Executive arms of government over judicial appointments, funding and disregard of court orders.
The ICJ Kenya chapter, in a press statement signed by its chairman Kelvin Mogeni, raised concerns over the ongoing public exchanges between Chief Justice David Maraga and Attorney-General Paul Kihara, which he said undermine the promotion and protection of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
Mr Mogeni said the commission is alarmed by attempts by the Executive and the Legislature to undermine the mandate of the Judiciary by disregarding court orders and through budget cuts, contrary to the principle of separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution.
“We note that the Constitution of Kenya 2010 recognises the principle of separation of powers which requires all the three arms of government to work independently and inter-dependently,” he noted.
“The independence and accountability of the Judiciary is therefore imperative and prerequisite to effective and equal access to justice.”
COURT ORDERS
The ICJ-Kenya chairman regretted the growing trend in which senior government officials continue to ignore court orders with impunity.
He urged President Uhuru Kenyatta, Mr Maraga and all stakeholders to play their role to ensure the tension between the two arms is eased and have them work in together.
The commission urged President Kenyatta to appoint the 41 judges nominated by the JSC, and his office to obey court orders issued against it.
The ICJ also recommended that the Executive facilitates the establishment of the Judiciary Fund in line with the provisions of the Constitution and the Judiciary Fund Act.
JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE
The commission raised the issue in its 11th webinar held in a series on justice and rule of law on June 16.
The meeting focused on judicial independence and accountability as constitutional imperatives and the impact of the tension between the two arms.
ICJ also called on the CJ to engage the President and find a solution to the impasse and ensure the Judiciary upholds the highest standards of professionalism, consistency and the rule of law.
The AG was advised to uphold the Constitution in performing his duties, promote and protect the rule of law and defend the public interest.

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