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Lobbies back LSK on CJ appointment dispute

By Fred Makana | January 14th 2016

NAIROBI: Seven human rights organisations have been enjoined in a case in which the Law Society of Kenya is seeking orders to reverse amendments made to the 2015 Judicial Service Act.

The amendments give the President more powers in the appointment of the Chief Justice.

The lobby groups said in case of a presidential dispute, it will be difficult to have confidence in a court whose head will be perceived to be a sympathiser of the President.

The groups include among others the Kenya Human Rights Commission, Centre for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance, Constitution and Reform Education Consortium, Katiba Institute, Kenyan Section of International Commission of Jurists, Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice and National Civil Society Congress.

Through lawyer George Kegoro the groups condemned the amendment to section 30 (3) of the Judicial Service Act 2011.

"We wish to remind the nation why the drafters established the Judicial Service Commission. During the previous regimes, the Judiciary was at the beck and call of the Executive as judges were appointed directly by the President," Mr Kegoro said.

Justice Isaac Lenaola, however, declined to give any orders and directed the parties to file their submissions within seven days. He directed all parties to be served and appear before him on January 22 for hearing.

Chief Justice Willy Mutunga is set to retire in June with his deputy expected to retire by the end of this month.

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