Judge warns against repeat of radical surgery mistakes

Sunday October 17 2010

By NATION Correspondent

Mistakes made during the radical surgery of the Judiciary in 2003 should not be repeated, a judge has said. 

Mombasa resident judge Mohamed Ibrahim said rules of natural justice and fairness should be observed when vetting judges and magistrates this time round.

“We all saw the suffering and trauma judges and magistrates went through,” Mr Justice Ibrahim said, expressing concern that some of the judges who got a clean bill of health will have to undergo the process again.

Justice Ibrahim said the Judiciary respected the vetting process as it is enshrined in the new Constitution, but appealed for fairness. 

“Please, let it be done as quickly as possible to put it behind us,” said Mr Justice Ibrahim at a Federation of Women Lawyers (Fida) post-referendum workshop at the Serena Beach Hotel and Spa in Mombasa.

He said judicial officers from the old era should not be discriminated against. “Why discriminate me because I joined the Judiciary a long time ago?” Mr Justice Ibrahim asked.

The resident judge also said there was need to appoint more female judges at the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

Speaking on the same occasion, the chairperson of the Mombasa chapter of the Law Society of Kenya, Mr Mohamed Balala, said that appointments to commissions that will facilitate the implementation of the new Constitution should be transparent. 

“These bodies ought to reflect the face of Kenya, there should be no boardroom appointments,” Mr Balala said. 

He said Kenyans should not be led to believe that implementing the Constitution was the duty of lawyers and politicians alone.