INDEPENDENT JUDICIARY

Judges must consider only legal arguments

In Summary

• Chief Justice Martha Koome was sworn in yesterday and pledged to uphold the independence of the judiciary

• The state is appealing a ruling in mid-May by a five-bench High Court that the BBI Bill is unconstitutional 

Chief Justice Martha Koome Karambu on her first day of Office at the Supreme Court on May 24, 2021.
Chief Justice Martha Koome Karambu on her first day of Office at the Supreme Court on May 24, 2021.

Chief Justice Martha Koome was sworn in yesterday and repeated that she would diligently defend the independence of the judiciary.

As Koome pointed out, the Judiciary cannot work properly without sufficient resources. The Treasury needs to provide the funding and the head of state needs to finally approve the appointment of 40 new High Court judges.

The greatest challenge falls on Koome's shoulders. The Judiciary is one of the three pillars of government along with the legislature and executive. It is neither inferior or superior to the other two, it is equal.

There is a mindset in some quarters that the Judiciary should not obstruct government. Some considered it an outrage that the High Court ruled that the BBI Bill was unconstitutional on 22 counts. But the High Court held that the people should drive constitutional change, not the executive.

The BBI ruling will be appealed by government. Koome should ensure that the judges consider only legal arguments. The judiciary has done nothing wrong if it stopped an elite political project. The only question should be whether the High Court was legally in the right or legally in the wrong.

Quote of the day: "Please, the knee in my neck, I can't breathe."

George Floyd
The African-American man was killed by police on May 25, 2020