NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 4 – Chief Justice Willy Mutunga says the Judiciary will continue undertaking reforms to fully rebuild public confidence.
He says he will wipe out corruption in the institution to ensure justice is accessible and delivered to all Kenyans.
He urged all legal professionals to ensure they are competent in their mission to deliver justice.
Speaking when he launched the Advocates Disciplinary Tribunal on Friday, Mutunga cautioned lawyers against derailing judicial reforms.
He said he will work with the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission to prosecute those involved in sleaze.
“I will take bold steps to fight this; I am already in contact with the Chairman of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission inviting him to take action that would reclaim the Judiciary from new corruption cartels emerging in the administrative cadre,” he revealed.
He also said that in “addition to doing right, the profession must also do well. For example, advocates should consider ways of providing legal assistance for poor litigants.”
He said the tribunal was set to assist in the already initiated efforts to make the institution corruption free.
“The legal profession’s current disciplinary system has been faulted for failing to address legitimate public concerns, particularly those involving the legal costs, quality and accessibility of legal services, protection of social interests and inadequate sanctions for lawyer misconduct,” he noted.
He said that while autonomy is vital, the profession must continue to remain accountable to the consumers of legal services and the country at large.
“The disciplinary tribunal can add value by establishing a complaints-handling culture that listens more actively to what complainants are saying, and one that recognises that everyday mistakes, errors of judgment and poor standards of service damage the reputation of the profession just as badly as advocates who professionally misconduct themselves,” he stated.
He added that, “the greatness of a nation is determined by the quality of institutions that it builds.”
He said the tribunal “must therefore execute its legislative mandate with absolute fidelity as a way of helping us create the strong institutions and conscientious elite that our democratic ambitions demand.”
The Chief Justice also said that respect for values like honesty, fairness and good faith will contribute to the formation of a just and efficient legal system.
“If the legal profession is to be taken seriously; there is need to be a thoughtful and decisive response to the dilemma facing it so as to rebuild confidence among Kenyans,” he said.