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ELECTION 2022

Law scholars are misleading Wanjiku

UREPORT
By Mutua Ndonga | Jan 11th 2016 | 2 min read

The main role of the Legislature is to debate and adopt bills that later become law once they are assented to by the President.

This forms the basis on which the recent changes to the Constitution were enacted. Members of both Jubilee and CORD participated in the debate and at no time did we hear strong reservations from the Opposition.

I am sure many Kenyans were not surprised when some of the Opposition members opted to change tune and joined some lawyers and scholars who opposed the changes arguing that they were unconstitutional and designed to create an imperial presidency. Opposition MPs are known to change goal posts every time they hold consultations with their bosses, the three principals.

If the Opposition lawmakers wanted us to believe them, they would have raised their concerns on floor of the House.

The lawyers were uncomfortable with the amendment of the Judicial Service Act arguing that the changes contravened Article 166 (1) of the Constitution. But having read that Article and internalised it, I beg to differ.

When the positions of the Chief Justice and deputy chief justice fall vacant, that clause is silent and does not explicitly state how many names should be forwarded to the President so that he can invoke the power conferred on him and appoint the two judges who would fill these positions.

The law is, however, clear the entire process that would lead to the appointments must be handled by Judicial Service Commission (JSC). Given this scenario, the arguments by some law scholars would have made sense if the Constitution specified the number of names that should be submitted to the head of state.

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