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LSK should do more to sweep out quacks

By | November 11th 2011 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has published new rules that give guidelines on the admission of lawyers to the club of senior counsel.

According to the rules, those to be admitted must be highly experienced lawyers, with high standards of professionalism.

They will have to be actively practicing, as well as have sound knowledge of law and demonstrate professional competence.

Most importantly, they must be persons of clean moral character and integrity, who can stand up to the virtues of justice at all times. No lawyer will be allowed to use the title Senior Counsel unless listed in the roll.

Like all professional bodies that set up rules for members, this is a welcome move as it aims at ensuring integrity and discipline in legal practice.

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It resonates well with legal reforms that Kenya is undergoing, including in the Judiciary. As we have said before, reforms aimed at improving the rule of law cannot be left to the Government alone. The private sector has a role.

We commend the LSK for the bold move, which will also help to uplift the image of the profession. However, we do note that there are still some bad eggs that have given it a bad name.

Often, Kenyans have heard of complaints about lawyers who embezzle money meant for their clients. In other cases, they have been accused of facilitating scams such as land grabbing.

Roll Of Advocates

The society usually strikes such lawyers off the roll of advocates if guilt is proved.

In other cases, they are asked to pay back the funds they may have swindled.

However, given the cases that continue to be registered by disgruntled clients, this appears to be hardly deterrent enough. There is therefore need for more deterrent punishment if the profession is to be rid of quacks and criminals posing as advocates.

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