Maritime case participation petition set for next month

Thursday, September 12th, 2019 00:00 |
Lawyer Kibe Mungai who is representing the aggrieved citizens in the petition seeking to block Kenya’s participation in the boundary row. Photo/PD/BERNARD MALONZA

The petition seeking to block Kenya’s participation in the boundary dispute with Somalia at the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) will now be heard by the High Court on October 9 and 11.

A three-judge Bench will first handle an application for conservatory orders by the 20 petitioners, which was declined by Justice Weldon Korir on July 11, seeking to suspend Kenya’s appearance before the international judicial forum.

Justices Kanyi Kimondo, Robert Limo and Anthony Mrima allowed lawyer Kibe Mungai, for the aggrieved citizens, to restructure their court documents by September 17. Lawyer Paul Nyamodi, who represents three key government offices, is at liberty to respond by September 24.

Parties are required to file and exchange their formal arguments between September 27 and October 4.

They were directed to lodge all their pleadings in electronic form to the Constitutional and Human Rights Division and appear before the deputy registrar on October 7 to confirm compliance.

The new turn of events follows confirmation by Kibe that the oral submissions in the maritime dispute at the ICJ, scheduled for September 9 and 13, had been adjourned to November 4.

During the hearing of the application before Justice Korir, Solicitor-General Kennedy Ogeto had argued that the State was justified to fully participate in the boundary dispute at the ICJ in line with its obligations to international treaties and covenants.

In their petition, the citizens, led by renowned civil rights crusader Kiriro wa Ngugi had protested that the Attorney General, the Foreign Affairs Cabinet secretary and the Kenya International Boundaries Office should not be allowed to “meekly escort Kenya into an international judicial slaughterhouse.” 

In the event Kenya lost the case, they claimed, it will be virtually landlocked with an extremely minimal access to the Indian Ocean.

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