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Lawyers caution Parliament over 'tyranny' on national issues

By Standard Correspondent | Aug 15th 2014 | 2 min read

KWALE,KENYA: Lawyers have urged Parliament to exercise caution before invoking the tyranny of numbers on national issues.

The lawyers who are attending a two-day Law Society of Kenya (LSK) Annual Conference said that all the arms of Government must strive to benefit all citizens in line with the constitution.

LSK Chairman Mr. Eric Mutua said that Article two of the constitution binds all people and the Bill of Rights provides for equality.

“Parliament should not invoke the tyranny of numbers to pass unconstitutional laws and policies as a show of might,” Mr. Mutua said.

Mr. Mutua said that the National Assembly, Senate and Executive must all uphold the Rule of Law by respecting court orders.

“Disregard to court orders is the beginning of anarchy…the supremacy of the constitution must be upheld at all cost.

The theme of the Conference that has attracted over 800 lawyers countrywide is The Spirit of the Law: Constitutional Tension between the Three Arms of the Government.

Senior Counsel Dr. Gibson Kamau Kuria said that supremacy of the constitution must be upheld towards containing the increasing insecurity, hunger and disease.

“National security organs should serve in line with the constitution and protect citizens against internal and external aggressors,” Dr. Kuria said.

Dr. Kuria, who is a former LSK Chairman, presented a paper titled Making and Breaking the Law: Justice in the wake of Disobedience and Judicial Orders.

Earlier, the lawyers took issue with National Assembly Leader of Majority Mr. Aden Duale who delivered a key note address for saying Speaker Justin Muturi had a right to be partisan.

“The Speaker was elected by the majority in Parliament and therefore has a right to be partisan (in favour of the ruling Jubilee Coalition),” Mr. Duale said.

Retired Judge Justice Lee Muthoga said that the Speaker must be non-partisan and represent the best interest of the country.

“A Speaker must be non-partisan after his/her election towards achieving national interests,” Justice Muthoga said.

Mr. Evans Monari said that there should be no grandstanding over superiority of the three arms of Government.

“The Executive, Judiciary and Legislature are all pigmies competing over who is taller unaware that the constitution is supreme,” Mr. Monari said.

Mr. George Nyamweya said that the Speaker of the National Assembly must desist from snubbing court orders.

“The Speaker should not be dismissing court orders as such acts lead to tensions between the three arms of Government,” Mr. Nyamweya said.

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