Court declares Uhuru’s order of placing judiciary tribunals and commissions under ministries null and void

Thursday, June 10th, 2021 16:50 |
President Uhuru Kenyatta
President Uhuru Kenyatta.Photo/courtesy
President Uhuru Kenyatta

The High Court has quashed an Executive order issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta that allegedly sought to place the Judiciary commissions as well as independent offices under ministries and government departments.

In judgement issued by Justice James Makau the court has declared the President Executive Order Number 1 of 2020 dated 14.1.2020 as unconstitutional.

"A declaration is hereby issued that the Executive order number 1 of 2020 issued on January 14, January,2020 (revised) purporting and set out judiciary and tribunals, Commissions and independent offices as institutions under functions of ministries and government departments and constitutional bodies are unconstitutional, null and void," justice Makau ruled.

The orders comes after the Law Society of Kenya filed a case challenging the legality of an Executive order.

In the court documents, the Attorney General and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua are listed as respondents and the Judicial Service Commission as an interested party.

Through lawyers Manwa Hosea and Arnold Ochieng, the LSK terms the move as unconstitutional since the executive arm of government cannot restructure or assign functions to other arms and independent commissions.

The LSK argued the disputed Executive order No. 1 of 2020 offends the principles of the constitution, doctrine of separation of powers, democracy and independence of constitutional offices.

“Where the law exhaustively provides for the jurisdiction of a body or an authority, it must operate within the limits of the law and ought not to expand its jurisdiction through administrative crafts or innovation,” said the LSK.

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