Resident Magistrate Beryl Omollo has been honored with the Distinguished Service Award by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK). This happened during the society’s AGM in Nairobi.
“For various matters placed before her, she always undertakes to make the deliberate and conscientious choice to ensure that justice is more accessible to the citizenry and that every litigant is given a fair hearing such that no one is driven out of the seat of justice,” the LSK Citation said.
Hon Omollo handled the Baby Pendo inquest.
CITATION FOR THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD
The Honourable Chief Guest;
The Honourable Chief Justice;
The Honourable Judges present;
My colleagues, members of the learned profession of the law; ladies and gentlemen.
The awardee for the Distinguished service award is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya who was admitted to the bar in the year 2014 under LSK Number P105/10371/2014, and so has attained Five years post admission work experience and exposure in various fields, starting with Private Legal practice when she was working with M/s KTK Advocates, and subsequently as a Resident Magistrate with the Kenya Judiciary, which is her posting to date.
The awardee was appointed as a Resident Magistrate with effect from 13th November 2017, by Gazette Notice Number 10809 dated 1st November 2017.
She shares the vision of her country being free from maladministration of justice, where the rule of law is upheld; where the citizens’ rights and freedoms are protected and upheld and individuals are accorded fair treatment by those in authority. For various matters placed before her,she always undertakes to make the deliberate and conscientious choice to ensure that justice is more accessible to the citizenry and that every litigant is given a fair hearing such that no one is driven out of the seat of justice.
The awardee has not considered her rank in a Judiciary that has heavyweights up to Judges of the Supreme Court, before making a decision for the justice of those who may be considered at the lowest rung of the social ladder.
This early in her Legal career, she has exhibited courage and fidelity to the law. Faced with the responsibility of presiding over an inquest arising from circumstances of a very volatile political contest, she courageously conducted the Inquest, and came to a courageous decision, basing on the evidence presented in the inquest. The baby subject of the inquest, was aged 6 months at the time of her death at the hands of security forces. Even if she was alive, at the age of 6 months, she would never have been able to audibly speak for herself. But what is worse, she was dead and so unable to speak. The only remaining voice for her was the Legal mechanism of an Inquest.
The awardee is one who dedicates time and detail in coming to her decisions including the decision in the Baby Pendo case, a ruling that demonstrates fidelity to the Constitution and application of deep Legal principles like Command responsibility.
The courage demonstrated by the awardee sets a very good precedent that a Judicial officer should at all times discharge their duty without fear or favour, and without looking at the might of the parties in the case, nor her youth in the profession, so that the downtrodden and voiceless in society can have hope in the Constitution and in the Law, that they can be protected from abuse of power by agencies entrusted with protecting, not threatening life.
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, the 2019 …………..Award in recognition of her dedication to issues of justice, human rights and constitutionalism is Hon Ms. Beryl Omollo