INDEPENDENT THINKERS

Unanimous judicial decisions make the profession inept

Humans can only come up with similar decisions but very different justifications

In Summary

• There is not much difference between unanimous decisions and mob justice. 

• People need to know what each judge's reasoning was before reaching the unanimous decision. 

Supreme Court of Kenya
MOB DECISIONS: Supreme Court of Kenya
Image: FILE

Unanimous decisions have been and will possibly continue to be around as long as society entertains them. It’s high time society frowned upon acts of making unanimous decisions by the Judiciary and quasi-judicial authorities.

Such decisions are an affront to justice, lazy and not a reflection of the esteemed profession that prides itself with independent thinkers. What difference exists between unanimous decisions and mob-justice? We all know how ‘justice’ in the streets gets dispensed or have a rough idea of how it goes down.

When the mob decides to lynch a person in the streets they unanimously make that decision, nobody bothers to look into the merits of the tendered evidence for or against the alleged public enemy, and most end up getting punished for crimes they did not commit. This also denies them a chance to defend themselves.

 

Unfortunately, the same street mentality is rife in our judicial institutions led by the Supreme Court. Kenyan courts are not choirs. With all the education and continuous professional development, how do more than three trained judges reach a unanimous decision? We are human and we can only come up with similar decisions but very different justifications.

People need to know what each judge’s reasoning was before reaching the unanimous decisions that are tarnishing the profession. Lawyers should be beyond reproach. Making mob decisions soils the noble profession. In law school, students are encouraged to be independent thinkers, and that should go into practice too.

Lawyers are often encouraged to agree to disagree, and it is through such that jurisprudence is birthed. Superior courts have failed to live true to the profession.

Advocate trainee at KSL