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Why lawyers will stay away from courts for one week

By Kepher Otieno | Published Sun, February 11th 2018 at 09:06, Updated February 11th 2018 at 09:11 GMT +3
Law Society of Kenya President Isaac Okero in a past press conference [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) will boycott courts for a week starting tomorrow to protest violation of rights and disobedience of court orders by state and public officers.

LSK President Isaac Okero announced that they shall embark on a nationwide Yellow Ribbon Campaign from next week by keeping off the courts to protest violation of the law.

“The court boycott shall be for one week commencing from February 12th to 16th, to denounce impunity against the rule of law,” Mr Okero said.

But he clarified that the boycott will exclude election petitions which are subject to strict timelines.

“Excluding them further demonstrates the bar’s commitment to the delivery of electoral justice and equity,” he said.

Institute proceedings

LSK cited cases where state or its public officers or agents had failed to obey court orders thus setting a bad precedence.

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High Court orders by Justice Chacha Mwita to the government to switch on signals for KTN, NTV, Citizen and Inooro TV were ignored.

LSK cited Miguna Miguna case where police defied court orders to release him. “Already LSK is appearing through its lawyers in the Miguna Habeus Corpus proceedings,” revealed Okero.

The Society shall also institute proceedings over the shut-down of broadcast services.

“This include personal liability against the state and public officers who are and have acted with impunity,” LSK said in a statement sent to the newsroom.

“When a government shows contempt for the law it becomes impossible for it to require citizens to respect the law it holds in contempt,” the statement read in part.

Okero said disregard of the law will lead the society into anarchy.

LSK will unveil a Yellow Ribbon Memorandum which shall be a collection of information from members of court orders willfully disobeyed and rights violated by state officers.

This information shall be collected from members through the branch networks and collated by an ad hoc Yellow Ribbon Memorandum Committee chaired by Chris Gitari .

Other members of the committee are Sam Mohochi, Jane Odiya, Wamaitha Kimani, Peter Wanyama and Dudley Ochiel.


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