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Judiciary ‘concerned’ over disregard for court orders

Wednesday February 19 2014

Justice Mbogholi  Msagha (right), presiding Judge  Criminal Division - Milimani with Mr Ali  Haithar on February19, 2014 shortly after he was admitted as an advocate of the High Court Kenya during admission of advocates ceremony held at the Supreme Courts, Nairobi.  104 graduates were admitted as advocates. William Oeri
Justice Mbogholi Msagha (right), presiding Judge Criminal Division - Milimani with Mr Ali Haithar on February19, 2014 shortly after he was admitted as an advocate of the High Court Kenya during admission of advocates ceremony held at the Supreme Courts, Nairobi. 104 graduates were admitted as advocates. William Oeri
Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga Chief Justice Willy Mutunga. The Judiciary has raised concern over increased disregard for court orders.   PHOTO/JEFF ANGOTE
Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga Chief Justice Willy Mutunga. The Judiciary has raised concern over increased disregard for court orders. PHOTO/JEFF ANGOTE
LUCAS BARASA
By LUCAS BARASA
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The Judiciary has raised concern over increased disregard for court orders.

Mr Justice Msagha Mbogholi who is in-charge of the Criminal Division at the Milimani Commercial Court however said the Judiciary would not be dragged into supremacy wars with other arms of government.

Speaking during the admission of 104 advocates of the High Court to the bar presided over by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, Mr Justice Mbogholi said contempt of court is an affront to Kenyans.

“It is a time when court orders are being disobeyed with impunity,” Mr Justice Mbogholi said at the Supreme Court in Nairobi.

Citing the constitution, the judge said the judiciary authority is exercised for the benefit of the people and that going against its decisions only affects Kenyans.

“Contempt of court is an affront for people of Kenya. It will however not distract us from performing our duties or drag us to supremacy wars (with other institutions),” Mr Justice Mbogholi said.

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The Senate ignored a court order barring the removal of Embu governor Martin Wambora from office.

Lady Justice Hedwig Ong’udi had barred the Senate from debating Wambora’s impeachment until a previous petition filed by Wambora against the Embu County Assembly is heard.

EALS President James Aggrey Mwamu said that the Senate set a bad precedent by ignoring a court order barring it from starting impeachment proceedings against Mr Wambora.

Last year, the National Assembly also ignored a court order barring debate over the removal of some Judicial Service Commission members.

There has been perceived fight between the Judiciary and Parliament over which is superior.

The Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution has also raised concern over disregard of court orders by other arms of government.

On Wednesday, Mr Justice Mbogholi, Law Society of Kenya chairman Eric Mutua and Advocates Complaints Commission chairman Beuttah Siganga told lawyers to stop embezzling clients’ money and other malpractices.

“We live in an open prison and we should avoid doing anything that might be embarrassing,” Mr Justice Mbogholi said.

The judge also called for faster conclusion of cases saying litigation has become too expensive.

Mr Mutua said lawyers should stick to their oath of upholding the rule of law in administration of justice.

“It is regrettable that when majority of lawyers join active politics they forget the oath they have taken and want to interrogate decisions of the court whether or not it binds them. As lawyers you should avoid misconduct that can result to your removal from the roll of advocates,” Mr Mutua said.

Mr Mutua said lawyers should ensure integrity and honesty and that “desire to make money should not make precedent of desire for justice.”

Mr Siganga said Kenyans are demanding better services from lawyers and accountability.

“It is a sad moment when we receive complaints of errant members,” Mr Siganga said.

He said lawyers should guard against conflict of interest and ensure clients confidentiality.