Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Supreme Court Presiding Judge Ibrahim declines to swear in new advocates

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Presiding Judge of the Supreme Court JudgePresiding Judge of the Supreme Court Judge Mohammed Ibrahim. FILE PHOTO | WILLIAM OERI | NATION MEDIA GROUP
13th July 2016:
The Supreme Court justice says he cannot discharge the duties of Chief Justice.
The presiding judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Mohammed Ibrahim, has declined a request by over 100 lawyers to admit them into the bar.
Responding to a petition by the new advocates, Justice Ibrahim clarified that he is not the acting Chief Justice (CJ) or Deputy Chief Justice (DCJ) and “he therefore cannot perform the functions of the two top most judicial officers.”
Some of the functions of the CJ include admitting new advocates who have gone through the Kenya School of Law to acquire a diploma in law after graduating from various universities.
The new advocates, through Beniah Okongo, had petitioned Justice Ibrahim in a letter dated July 11 requesting him to admit them into the roll of advocates given that he is the acting president of the Supreme Court.
“Kindly note that on the day the now retired CJ Dr Willy Mutunga left office he announced that I shall be the acting Presiding Judge of the Supreme Court and he consequently symbolically handed the duties of the President of the Supreme Court to me by presenting me with the flag of the court.
“It must be noted that this does not in any way imply that I was appointed the Acting Chief Justice,” he said.
Justice Ibrahim says that as a presiding judge he can only preside over the court but not discharge the duties of CJ or DCJ.
He said the lawyers will have to wait until a new CJ is appointed.
Chapter 16 of the Advocates Act of the Laws of Kenya, Section 15 (3), states that “it is only the Chief Justice who may admit lawyers into the roll of Advocates , in his absence it is presumed the Deputy Chief Justice would execute certain functions.”

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