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Kenya and UK judiciaries to work together in the pursuit of justice

Kenya and England have committed to work together to strengthen their judicial cooperation in the era of global interdependence.

The two countries agreed that with the changing global trends in crime, it is a must for institutions to come together to find solutions to the ever changing circumstances through consistent dialogue and cooperation.

Chief Justice (CJ) Martha Koome said that it is important for judiciaries across the world to collaborate in promoting the rule of law, human rights, democracy and development in the face of challenges such as cybercrime, terrorism, climate change, migration and pandemics.

Speaking in Nairobi on Monday when she hosted the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales Lord Burnett, Koome noted that no country is an island and therefore stated that it was important to embrace the rule of law and the constitution through friendship and partnership in the field of justice and the rule of law.

Koome further reaffirmed the Kenyan government’s commitment to remain steadfast in upholding the rule of law and exercising democracy in its pursuit of excellence in service delivery and justice for all in addition to deepening their partnership with other judiciaries around the world.

“We value the continued support and collaboration that we receive from the UK government and its institutions such as the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) which worked with the International Foundation for Electoral System (IFES) to partly support our Electoral Dispute Resolution (EDR) during the 2022 election cycle,” Koome said.

Additionally, Koome said that the government of the United Kingdom jointly with the Government of the United States of America supported the construction of Kahawa Law courts thereby strengthening the capacity of the Kenyan criminal justice system to deal with terrorism and other crimes by providing a highly secure facility equipped with ICT facilities to maximize judicial efficiency.

“We also appreciate the exchange of knowledge and best practices that we have with our counterparts in the UK judiciary. It is proof of our shared commitment to upholding the rule of law and strengthening democratic governance,” Koome stated.

The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales Lord Burnett of Maldon expressed his admiration for the judicial system in Kenya and emphasized on the importance of judicial dialogue in contributing to international harmony and solving problems through borrowing from one another.

“It is well established that the judiciary is the weakest branch of government and this fact does not mean that it is the least important of the arms of government, as it is of equal importance to both the legislature and the executive,” Lord Burnett observed.

Lord Burnett touched on some of the values shared by both Kenya and the United Kingdom such as the oaths required of a judge accepting appointment in which the judges plead to do justice without fear, favour, bias or ill will.

He noted that both the judiciaries of Kenya and England were both common law and Commonwealth jurisdictions in that many of the cases that came before the courts would be decided the same way in Mombasa as in Birmingham.

Lord Burnett added that it was the duty of the government to provide funding for the Judiciary to enable it to effectively perform its duties since no judiciary should be run on a shoestring budget or be starved of cash by its government.

“The judiciary in England and Wales learned much from its dialogue with other judiciaries and we stand ready to provide information, help and assist as we are not in competition with each other or constantly maneuvering for advantage,” Lord Burnett explained.

By Susan Gichanja and Daisy Masinde



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