HEAD HELD HIGH

History will judge CJ Maraga kindly

CJ leaves office with a clear conscience.

In Summary
  • He's a CJ who is ideological, independent, liberal and incorruptible; who would leave nothing to chance to defend the Judiciary.
  • He has put up a spirited fight in defence of the independence of the Judiciary.
Chief Justice David Maraga at the Supreme Court on January 31, 2017.
INCORRUPTIBLE: Chief Justice David Maraga at the Supreme Court on January 31, 2017.
Image: Jack Owuor

History will remember Chief Justice David Maraga very kindly. One, no president of the Supreme Court or Chief Justice on the continent has ever overturned presidential election results.

Two, recommending to President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve Parliament for failing to pass the two-thirds gender law was also historic, not just in Kenya but on the content, and globally.

There is no advisory note from a chief justice on dissolving a democratically elected parliament for absconding its duty.

Justice Maraga has also fast-tracked the reduction of case backlog by more than 50 per cent. This is in the interest of pursuit and administration of justice. Pursuit of social justice is one of the critical values of our nation as domiciled in Article 10 (2) of the Constitution.

He also goes down in history as having opened close to 23 new courtroom blocks. This is a demonstration of his diligence and commitment to ensuring sufficient space for judicial officers for purposes of execution of their mandate, which is derived from the people.

The additional spaces provide an avenue for judicial officers to comfortably execute their mandate.

The outgoing Chief Justice has put up a spirited fight in defence of the independence of the Judiciary. He has taken on the Executive, having addressed, via the press, the President and informing citizens of his frustrations from the two arms of government—Parliament and Executive.

The manner in which Parliament has endeavoured to constrict the budget of the Judiciary is a testament that it has made some effort, albeit unsuccessfully, to try and stop courts from freely operating. Saying he would choose which national government functions to attend was a protest note to the Executive.

All these things have a good place within the pages of history in the memory of Maraga as Kenya's second Supreme Court president. They point to him as a CJ who is ideological, independent, liberal and incorruptible one who would leave nothing to chance to defend the Judiciary.

He thus leaves office with a clear conscience. 

The governance specialist spoke to the Star