BY CORRESPONDENT,MOMBASA,20TH AUG 2018-South African Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng who is on a tour in the country has told judges to ensure impartiality as well as judicial independence as they discharge their mandate.Speaking during the opening of this year’s Annual Judges’ Colloquium in Mombasa Monday, Mogoengsaid judges must treat all litigants equally without according undue privileges to the high and mighty as well as ensuring fidelity to the Constitution and the laws of the country .
“It shouldn’t matter who appears before you, equality before the law is a critical requirement for true judgeship,” he said.
“You judge not for man – you judge for God. You judge not for the high and mighty, you judge not for your president or parliamentarian – you judge for the people. Respect the flag!” Mogoeng urged.
The visiting South African Chief Justice also asked judges attending the colloquium to maintain high standards of diligence and conciseness.
“Some in the Judiciary are thoroughly incompetent. Half past four o’clock you’re going home all the time. It ought to be a misconduct for a judge to be found lazy! It must be misconduct!” he implored.
On his part Kenya’s Chief Justice David Maraga emphasised the need for the delivery of justice without undue delays and regard for the social status of litigants.
“Article 159 of the Constitution specifically provides for the delivery of justice without undue regard to technicalities and to all irrespective of their status,” he stressed.
Maraga equally stressed the need to have matters in court concluded in a timely manner while asking judges to make a conscious effort to tame case backlogs.
“Speedy trials are an integral part of the fundamental rights of life and liberty in our Constitution as also enshrined in Article 26 and in the entire Bill of Rights in Chapter 4,” he referred.
On his part, he committed that the Supreme Court bench which he heads will endeavour to have appeals concluded expeditiously even in matters that have no statutory timelines.
The Annual Judges’ Colloquium comes at a time when the High Court is on a month and a half-long recess having begun on August 1.