SENIOR COUNSEL STANDOFF

Court quashes LSK bid to block 22 advocates from promotions

Judge says affected persons must be given an opportunity to be heard

In Summary

• The judge found that the decision by LSK to revoke the decision of the committee was marred with procedural impropriety and done contrary to the law.

• They include Phillip Murgor, Waweru Gatonye, Kalonzo Musyoka, Fred Ngatia, Martha Karua, Judy Thongori,Taib Ali Taib, Kioko Kilukumi, Otiende Amollo and John Chigiti.

LSK president Nelson Havi.
SENIOR COUNSEL STANDOFF: LSK president Nelson Havi.
Image: FILE

The High Court has quashed a decision by the Law Society of Kenya revoking promotion of 22 advocates to the rank of senior counsel.

Justice Anthony Ndung’u prohibited the LSK from acting further upon its decision of May 11 last year, contained in the letter dated May 13, 2020 addressed to its membership.

On May 11 last year, LSK revoked the decision of the committee on senior counsel made on August 26, 2019. The committee had recommended the conferment of the rank and dignity of senior counsel upon 22 advocates.

The advocates include Phillip Murgor, Waweru Gatonye, Kalonzo Musyoka, Fred Ngatia, Martha Karua, Judy Thongori,Taib Ali Taib, Kioko Kilukumi, Otiende Amollo and John Chigiti.

The judge found that the decision by LSK to revoke the decision of the committee was marred with procedural impropriety.

“The applicants have established that the LSK acted contrary to the principles of fair administrative actions Act,”

Ndung’u said the person to be affected by any administrative action must also be given an opportunity to be heard and to make representations.

They must also be supplied with information, materials and evidence to be relied upon in making the decision.

In this case, the council did not accord the applicants an opportunity to present their cases before making a decision that would ultimately affect their conferment of the rank and dignity of senior counsel.

The decision of LSK to revoke the conferment of the rank of senior counsel upon the 22 was done contrary to the law.

The committee on senior counsel draws its membership from the society as well as the Judiciary and the Attorney General and therefore not subject to the supervisory jurisdiction of LSK.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)