NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 8- Justice George Vincent Odunga, known for his radical rulings is this year’s ICJ-Kenya’s jurist of the year.
According to ICJ, Justice Odunga was picked for his exemplary work at the Judiciary, where he has braved criticism, avoided distractions and remained steadfast in the discharge of his duties.
ICJ says the judge has overtime asserted his stand as a hard-boiled defender and promoter of the rule of law and human rights.
Some of his rulings, for example, the case against controversial lawyer Miguna Miguna against Interior CS Fred Matiangi and 8 others won him the accolades during the award ceremony held last night.
In his ruling, the Judge held that there is nothing barring the Court in appropriate cases from holding an officer of the Government individually liable where the conduct of that officer give rise to circumstances under which it would be unjust and oppressive to subject the public to either pay the money decreed or the costs arising therefrom or both.
“His work has had a transformative effect outside his calling as a jurist and his actions provide hope and inspiration to millions of Kenya. ICJ Kenya wholeheartedly associates itself with these accolades,” ICJ-Kenya said.
Justice Odunga served in the Commercial, Civil and Judicial Review Divisions of the High Court, Milimani and was until transferred to Machakos High Court as the Presiding Judge, in the Judicial Review Division.
During his tenure, The Judiciary Performance Management and Measurement Evaluation report recognized and commended him and his Judicial Review led-division, at the Milimani Law Courts, as the best performing court, most efficient and fast in hearing and determining cases.
In 2016, lawyer Willie Kimani was named Jurist of the Year after he paid the ultimate price while defending human rights.
Kimani was awarded the posthumous award for his bravery in defending the down trodden in the country since he was a law student at the University of Nairobi.
Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda and taxi driver Joseph Murimi underwent torture before meeting their deaths at the hands of those duty bound to protect them – Administration Police officers.