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CJ Koome joins world judges for a global forum

Kenya’s Chief Justice Martha Koome will today, Wednesday July 28 join sitting and former Supreme Court Judges from Kenya, South Africa, United Kingdom and India to discuss the independence and integrity of the Judiciary.

The roundtable webinar meeting convened by Justice Sujata Manohar, a former Supreme Court of India judge will be hosted by the Justice K. T. Desai Memorial Committee, in  collaboration with the Bombay Bar Association.

In a press statement sent to newsrooms, the Kenyan Judiciary announced that the meeting will also be attended by Judge Isaac Lenaola from the Kenya Supreme Court, Lady Justice Mary Arden of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, Justice B.N. Srikrishna, a former Judge of the Supreme Court of India and Justice Albie Sachs a former judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.

Also in attendance will be Sharad Rao, Chairman of the Judges and Magistrate Vetting Board in Kenya, Jan van Zyl Smit, from the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law in London and Arvind Datar, senior advocate in India.

The meeting comes against the backdrop of media reports in Kenya on the independence of the Judiciary in relation to the oversight role of Parliament.

Recently, CJ Koome wrote to the Speakers of the National Assembly and Senate acknowledging the oversight role of Parliament over public institutions and also sought a meeting with the Speakers to discuss overlapping and duplicating summons from different committees of the same House, and also between the two Houses of Parliament to discuss the same issues.

“It is our humble view that parliamentary oversight must be performed strictly within the four corners of the law, and, equally importantly, in a manner that permits the various public institutions to perform their ordinary functions,” CJ Koome stressed.

The CJ indicated that she was keen to explore constructive engagement with both Houses of Parliament, particularly on the accountability of the Judiciary and recommended the Judiciary holds a joint consultative forum with the leadership of the Houses and the various committees as a matter of priority to resolve outstanding issues between the two arms of government.

By Bernadette Khaduli

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