Chief Justice Martha Koome has urged lawyers to abandon the age old practice of calling for unnecessary adjournments that delay the hearing of cases.
Koome said the problem of case backlog and delayed delivery of Justice were as a result of unnecessary adjournment and told advocates to embrace the multi-door approach to address societal grievances.
“Embrace the multi-door approach to delivery of justice that recognizes the utility of Small Claims Court, alternative systems of justice, and alternative dispute resolution in redressing societal grievances,” Koome said.
The CJ also challenged advocates to contribute socially beneficial services to the society while being part of the process of developing constitutionally decreed indigenous social jurisprudence by availing arguments to judges and judicial officers.
“Be ready to go an extra mile to ensure victims of gender based violence, children, persons living with disabilities, and persons from minority and marginalized communities are enabled to access justice,” Koome said.
The CJ was speaking today when she presided over the admission of 97 lawyers to the role of Advocates of High Court of Kenya at the Supreme Court grounds.
Congratulating the newly admitted advocates, Koome told the lawyers that their admission to the bar marks a transition from a period focused on studies to practicing what they have been studying.
The CJ who shared her reflections on what success in the legal profession looks like, asked the advocates to work in accordance with the constitution’s value system of establishing a socially just state and society.
“The constitutional goal of creating a just social order will only be realized when all citizens including those of us in the legal profession, embrace the required ways of conduct required in the society,” stressed Koome.
In her remarks, the Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu encouraged the advocates to conduct themselves in a manner that upholds professional, personal and social ethics.
“Practice civility in your interaction with members of the bench and colleagues in the bar. The concern here is that while expressing a different opinion is encouraged, we should disagree without being disagreeable,” she said.
Mwilu at the same time cautioned the advocates against taking the easy approach to success while focusing on higher financial prospects which deprives advocates the proceeds from the conveyance and litigation briefs that they handle on behalf of the clients.
“I hope yours will be a generation of lawyers that put a stop to unethical practices and no one from this lot of advocates will be struck off the role of advocates that you have joined today due to acts of professional misconduct,” expressed Mwilu.
Representing the Office of the Attorney General at the event, Lawrence Muiruri affirmed that the advocates had joined a community of colleagues for pursuit for citizens’ matters.
Muiruri said that the emergence of new frontiers is an opportunity to diversify, and encouraged the advocates to broaden their knowledge and adapt to shifting trends.
“Kindly pursue the path of least resistance as it promotes harmonious living in the society,” urged Muiruri.
Law Society of Kenya (LSK)’s Chief Executive Officer, Mercy Wambua while giving her remarks, pleaded with the newly sworn advocates to give back to the community by freely representing people who cannot afford representation fees.
Wambua urged the advocates to take up continuous professional development and sign up for pro-bono services that will see them grow in their profession.
“LSK is geared towards seeing its members grow and are protected,” said Wambua.
Wambua cautioned the advocates against the temptations of practicing without Professional Corporation.
By Moffin Opilio