16 November 2002

Kenya: Hearing of Suit Over Ghai Team Judiciary Proposals On Dec 16

Nairobi — The High Court yesterday set in motion the hearing of an application by two judges challenging proposals in the Draft Constitution on judicial reform.

Civil Division Duty judge, Justice David Rimita, set the hearing date after Justices Moijo ole Keiwua and Joseph Vitalis Juma filed the amended motion that questions the constitutional legality of Prof Yash Pal Ghai's Constitution of Kenya Review Commission (CKRC).

The judges directed the matter be heard for two days from December 16 to 17.

They further issued a notice that should Ghai, CKRC and the National Constitutional Conference fail to appear for the hearing as ordered, the court will proceed to hear the amended application ex-parte (one party) and issue such orders as it shall deem fit.

Ghai and his Commissioners have refused to enter appearance and defence in the matter since the two judges lodged the application for judicial review two months ago.

Ghai and his Commissioners also ignored to respond to court summons issued through two national dailies, the East African Standard and the Daily Nation after the judges' lawyers, Harit Sheth and Richard Kariuki, informed the court of their failure to effect personal service to the respondents.

Keiwua and Juma have mounted the court action against CKRC, Ghai and the National Constitutional Conference seeking mandatory orders to expunge recommendations of the Kenyan Judiciary contained in the Draft Constitution.

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