, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 7 – The High Court Monday invalidated a notification by the Kenya School of Law (KSL) directing law graduates to sit for Pre Bar examinations.
In a ruling rendered by Justice Chacha Mwita following an application by a University of Nairobi graduate, Adrian Kamotho Njenga, the court found KSL’s Regulation 6 of the Advocates Training Programme (ATP) which was promulgated via Legal Notice 175 in 2015 to be in contravention of Section 16 of the establishing Act and 24 (2) of the Statutory Instruments Act hence its invalidity.
Justice Mwita further directed KSL to forthwith refund any examination fees paid in respect to the said exams which had been slated for Friday this week.
The judge directed the KSL Board to move with speed and ensure the invalidated regulation conforms to Section 16 of the Kenya School of Law Act, 2012, failing which the declaration of invalidity will take effect.
“The declaration of invalidity shall remain suspended for a period of twelve months from the date of this judgment,” Justice Mwita said while urging KSL Board to expedite the amendments to the nullified regulation.
Judge Mwita also awarded the petitioner costs while remarking that the respondent’s actions were absolutely unnecessary.
According to Section 16 of the KSL Act, 2012, “A person shall not qualify for admission to a course of study at the School, unless that person has met the admission requirements, set out in the Second Schedule for that course.”
The petitioner argued in court that Pre Bar examinations were in fact not contemplated under the said section which outlines the qualifications for joining an ATP in the Second Schedule of the Act.
“A person shall be admitted to the School if: having passed the relevant examination of any recognized university in Kenya holds or has become eligible for the conferment of the Bachelor of Laws Degree (LL.B) from that university,” the Second Schedule reads in part.
The schedule also expounds in detail on the criteria for the selection of candidates wishing to pursue LL.B after completing pre-university education.
Those enlisting for an ATP from secondary schools are required to have obtained a minimum university entry grade of B (plain) in English or Kiswahili and a mean grade of C (plus) in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams or its equivalent.