Statement by CJ Hon Maraga on attack by Duale on Judge Odunga

DECEMBER 22, 2016. JUDICIARY, NAIROBI KENYA. PRESS STATEMENT BY CHIEF JUSTICE HON. DAVID MARAGA ON HON. ADEN DUALE’S ATTACK ON JUSTICE GEORGE ODUNGA. I am currently out of the country but my attention has been drawn to comments made by the Leader of Majority in the National Assembly, Hon. Aden Duale, threatening Justice George V. Odunga, Presiding Judge of the Judicial Review Division of the High Court of Kenya.

 

I strongly condemn the utterances and threats of Hon. Duale which fly in the face of the rule of law and civil conduct of leaders of a constitutional democracy such as Kenya. It impinges on hard-won independence of the Judiciary, which is one of the hallmarks of the transformed Judiciary Hon. Duale is celebrating, as he lays the premise for the attack on the Honorable Judge.  Justice Odunga has been a major factor in the transformation of Kenya’s Judiciary, and the international respect and acclaim the institution has continued to draw, has been, in part, contributed to by Justice Odunga’s decisions and conduct. 

 

I wish the public to know, and for the other arms of government to take note that, under my leadership as Chief Justice, the Judiciary and judges will continue to discharge their constitutional mandate independently, fairly, impartially and firmly as guided by the Constitution. When constitutional controversies and disputes arise, and they are brought to court, judges shall not be shy in interpreting the law accordingly. We will not be intimidated and blackmailed, either as individual judges or as an institution. This is what we owe the Kenyan public, as well as to our oaths of office. Hon. Duale must stop the public lynching of judges who are merely performing their constitutional duties. I believe in the principle of interdependence and collaboration with other organs of State but only if this takes place within the framework of mutual respect, constitutionalism, and engagement.

 

Hon David K. Maraga,

The Chief Justice/President, Supreme Court of Kenya

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