Lobby now party to case against security laws
By Caroline Rwenji
| January 22nd 2015
Kenya: The Refugee Consortium has been enjoined as an interested party in a case filed by the Coalition for Reform and Democracy (Cord) challenging the Security Laws.
High Court Judge Mumbi Ngugi enjoined the consortium in the matter as they will be making submissions on a clause that touches on them.
Lawyer John Chigiti stated that their submissions will be brief on the implications of section 48 as read with the Refugees act and the activities of the consortium.
"Applicant intends to comply with directions that other parties have been given. No prejudice that is likely to be suffered by other parties. Submissions are being filed at this stage. All other parties will have room to access what is being brought out by applicants," assured the court.
Justice Ngugi granted the consortium leave to file their submissions by January 22.
On January 2, Justice George Odunga suspended the implementation of eight controversial clauses in the Security Laws (Amendment) Act and subsequently asked Chief Justice Willy Mutunga to constitute a three-judge bench to consider a petition by the Opposition challenging the new laws.
Among the suspended clauses was a law restricting the number of refuges entering the country and making it more difficult for them to be granted asylum was also suspended pending hearing and determination of the main petition.
"The effect of the implementation of this amendment would be the immediate reduction of the number of refugees which may lead to evacuation of some of them from the refugee camps and deportation of not a small number of refugees from the country. If this was to happen before the petitions are heard, nobody including the learned Solicitor-General would be able to enlighten the Court how the situation would be restored," said Justice George Odunga while delivering his ruling.
Chief Justice Willy Mutunga appointed the five judges who will hear the petition filed by the Cord challenging the laws.
Justice Isaac Lenaola will be the presiding judge and will work alongside Judges Mumbi Ngugi, Louis Onguto, Hilary Chemitei and Hedwig Ongudi.
Justice Mutunga further directed that the matter be heard on three consecutive days, which will be agreed on by the parties involved.
The five judge bench, he said, should deliver their decision in a month's time, before Tuesday, February 13.
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