CJ Maraga Defends Judiciary’s Autonomy, Faults Inclusion In Executive Order

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BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,4TH JUNE,2020-Chief Justice David Maraga HAS  defended Judiciary’s autonomy from the National Executive faulting an Executive Order issued on May 11 under which the judicial arm was listed in a re-calibrated government structure.

Maraga in a statement to the press noted whereas the Constitution empowers the President to direct and coordinate government ministries and departments, such powers as vested under Article 132 are only applicable to the executive arm of government.

“The manner in which the judiciary operates cannot be the subject of an Executive Order made pursuant to Article 132 (3) (b) which empowers the President to direct and coordinate the functions of ministries and government departments. The Judiciary is neither a ministry nor a government department which can be organized by an Executive Order,” he said.

The Chief Justice also asserted the autonomy of the Judicial Service Commission which he chairs affirming its independence under Article 171.

Maraga said he hoped the reference to the Judiciary and the Judicial Service Commission in the Executive Order was made inadvertently further urging President Kenyatta to promptly issue a correction to avoid confusion especially among members of the public.

“I want to believe that this was an inadvertent error and that the office of the President will promptly issue a correction,” the CJ added.

While he noted that the inclusion of the judicial organs in the executive order is null and void, he called for clarity on the institutional independence which he said is crucial fr the sake of, “our constitutional democracy of the country.”

“This will serve to avoid confusion among members of the public as well as foster the constitutional letter and spirit of separation of powers.It will also avoid the unwitting undermining of other independent arms of government and institutions,” Maraga stated.

Nairobi Metropolitan Services was also included under the Office of the President meaning that all the four functions the Nairobi County Government ceded to the national Government will be supervised under the Office of the President.

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