Kenya has locked out South Sudanese nationals studying locally from being admitted as advocates in the country, denying them opportunity to practise law in Kenya.
Three South Sudanese nationals have now moved to court challenging the law that excludes them from practising law in Kenya while allowing nationals from other four East Africa nations of Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda.
Steve Kawai, Mangok Akuot and Miji Wongo have schooled in Kenya from primary to university and later enrolled at Kenya School of law and were set to sit for their bar examinations from November 15.
But they were blocked after the Council of Legal Education (CLU) informed them that Section 12 (a) of Advocates Act limit eligibility for admission to the roll of advocates to citizens of Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Tanzania.
“Pending the hearing and determination of the petition, the first respondent (CLU) and is hereby ordered to allow the petitioners to sit for the bar examinations scheduled to start on November 15, 2018,” reads one of the orders sought by the three students.
The plaintiffs, who claim to be refugees living in Kenya, argue that they are entitled to the full enjoyment of the rights and fundamental freedoms in the bill of rights guaranteed by the constitution.
They also claim that since South Sudan has been admitted as a member of East African community, the treaty entered by the states gives them equal protection under Kenyan law like those from other member states.