NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 2 – Newly appointed Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga aims to lay a firm foundation for a reformed Judiciary during his five year reign
Speaking on Friday night during a cocktail party hosted on his behalf by the Law society of Kenya (LSK) Dr Mutunga reaffirmed that he will work with all stakeholders to ensure justice is dispensed fairly.
“Let all of us be a part of the implementation of the Constitution, my vision in my five year term is to lay a firm foundation for a reformed Judiciary,” he said.
His comments were also echoed by his deputy Ms Nancy Baraza said that the high expectation placed on them will only be met if the new leadership is supported by all institutions.
“We all need each other, the two of us [Chief Justice and his deputy} cannot manage that job, it is for all of us; we are pledging an open door policy,” she said.
In an interview with Capital News on Wednesday evening, Dr Mutunga said he expected administrative duties of the Judiciary to be delegated once a Chief Registrar is appointed.
“I would like to spend more time deciding cases. I am quite certain when the Chief Registrar is in place and the administrative duties are undertaken by others I will spend more time deciding cases; I see that as my major responsibility,” he said.
Dr Mutunga is the President of the seven-member Supreme Court. Other judges who will sit on the court are Deputy CJ Nancy Baraza, Justices Philip Tunoi, Jackton Ojwang, Mohammed Ibrahim Dr Smokin Wanjala and Njoki Ndung\’u.
The new CJ also promised Kenyans that the Judiciary will be transformed from the closed-shop it has been perceived to be.
“The Judiciary has been a kind of cocoon but the public has forced it to come out of this cocoon. I expect judges and magistrates to be the faces of the Judiciary. They should go to schools, churches and other public forums to explain what we do. If we draw back to cocoons then we will have missed out on this opportunity of massive education,” he said.
Attorney General Amos Wako used the occasion to challenge the Constitutional Implementation Committee to ensure that legislation goes through Parliament instead of concentrating on administrative procedures
Mr Wako assured that the laws giving effect to the Constitution will be passed soon to ensure timely implementation of the new Constitution
“Let us not quarrel over bills that have been passed, the challenge is getting these bills to Parliament and getting them passed,” he said
“The Attorney General will not present a bill to the President if it has not been signed and certified by the Clerk of the National Assembly,” he added
On Tuesday CIC Chairman Charles Nyachae accused Mr Wako of being an impediment to reforms by failing to present the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Bill to the President for assent
Friday’s s cocktail was attended by Chief Justice, his deputy, the Director of Public Prosecutions, members of the Judicial Service Commission and members of the Constitutional Implementation Committee.