International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya) warns judiciary against engaging in dialogue with the Executive 

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International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya) warns judiciary against engaging in dialogue with the Executive 

The Kenyan section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya) has cautioned the judiciary against participating in conversations with the Executive, emphasizing that such dialogues may jeopardize judicial independence.

 In a statement released on Saturday, Protas Saende, Chairperson of ICJ Kenya, asserted that the judiciary must uphold its autonomy, particularly regarding matters related to the administration of justice. 

He encouraged the judiciary to abstain from engaging in talks that could potentially compromise its independence in the dispensation of justice. 

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Saende pointed out that the Constitution provides ample mechanisms for addressing complaints against judicial officers, entrusting this responsibility to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

“Any concerns or complaints from the Executive should be duly registered with the JSC rather than aired in public rallies, casting aspersions on the Judiciary as a whole,” he said.

The lobby expressed apprehension regarding Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s recent allegations against Justice Esther Maina, followed by a retraction without substantiating evidence, and raised concerns about the Executive’s motives. 

ICJ highlighted that the damage inflicted on the judge’s reputation due to Gachagua’s attacks is considerable, signaling a lack of dedication to fostering a fair and impartial dialogue.

“Considering the above, we are adamant that the invitation by the Executive may not be in good faith,” the ICJ Chairperson said.

Dropped petition

On Thursday, Gachagua declared that he was temporarily withdrawing his intended petition against Justice Maina after leveling corruption allegations against her. 

In an official statement from his office, the Deputy President (DP) expressed openness to engaging in discussions about accountability, endorsing talks between President William Ruto and Chief Justice Martha Koome.

“The Deputy President notes the current national discourse on judicial transparency and application of Article 10 of the Constitution of Kenya on the conduct of Judges and other Judicial Officers,” Njeri Rugene, his press aide, stated.

“In this regard, the Deputy President will not proceed with the matter of the petition, for now,” Rugene announced.

Despite Gachagua’s shift in approach, Chief Justice Koome revealed that she had sought a meeting with President Ruto to understand his concerns. 

Koome stated that the Judiciary would extend an invitation to Ruto to provide any confidential information he might have regarding allegations of corruption against judges. She underscored the importance of aggrieved parties using formal channels under the Judicial Service Commission (JSC). 

Ruto initiated a vigorous campaign against certain judges following the Constitutional Court’s decision on November 28, 2023, which deemed the Housing Levy unconstitutional.

In Other News: Details of a deal for William Ruto to reciprocate support for Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua emerge

International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya) warns judiciary against engaging in dialogue with the Executive 

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