Friday, March 14, 2014

Judges discuss how to handle row with MPs

PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | FILE Chief Justice Willy Mutunga (centre), flanked by JSC members, addresses the media at the Supreme Court in Nairobi on October 18, 2013 when he announced the firing of Chief Registrar Gladys Shollei.

PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | FILE Chief Justice Willy Mutunga (centre), flanked by JSC members, addresses the media at the Supreme Court in Nairobi on October 18, 2013 when he announced the firing of Chief Registrar Gladys Shollei.  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By DAVE OPIYO
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Judges met in Nairobi on Friday to agree on a criteria for issuing court injunctions.

Even though details of the meeting were scanty, Chief Justice Willy Mutunga told the judges to always protect the independence of the Judiciary.

This, he said, could be achieved if they not only rigorously interpreted the Constitution and application of the law, but also by being accountable for their decisions.

“Decisions that fly in the face of the applicable law will be interrogated and debated, not just by colleagues and litigants, but by the wider society that we serve,” the CJ said.

The meeting comes hot on the heels of the Judiciary’s recent war of words with its counterparts in the legislature over the matter.

For instance, the Senate has been at loggerheads with the Judiciary over its decision to issue injunctions against Parliament for summoning nine governors.

The governors had been summoned by the Senate Committee on Finance to shed more light on certain expenditures based on the Auditor-General’s reports.

Yesterday’s meeting was attended by all resident judges from around the country as well as heads of various high court divisions.

The workshop on ‘Emerging Issues in Interlocutory Injunctions Jurisprudence’ is the 17th such seminar the Judiciary Training Institute has hosted in the past year, and brought together 36 judges, including presiding judges of the Courts of Appeal.

It sought to establish shared principles in the issuance of interlocutory injunctions and conservatory orders in civil and constitutional matters, respectively.

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