NAIROBI, Kenya July 21 – The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has criticized President Uhuru Kenyatta’s move to confer the rank of Senior Counsel to 24 Advocates.
LSK President Nelson Havi, in a position statement issued Monday evening, said President Uhuru Kenyatta may have been misadvised.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta acted with impunity in conferring rank of Senior Counsel on the 24 Advocates. The dispute on their recommendation for conferment is still pending in Court. We will abide by the outcome of the mediation that ensured therefrom whose report is expected soon,” the LSK President said.
The LSK Council in May nullified the nomination of 24 lawyers to be conferred the rank of senior counsel, among them former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, former Justice Minister Martha Karua and seasoned advocate Fred Ngatia.
The 24 were nevertheless conferred the rank by President Kenyatta on Monday.
Also in the list released on Monday are family law specialist Judy Thongori, Deputy Director Public Prosecutions Dorcas Oduor, Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo, former Presidential Adviser on Constitutional Affairs Abdikadir Mohammed, former Mombasa Mayor Taib Ali Taib, former Director of Public Prosecutions Philip Murgor, Kioko Kilukumi, former Law Society of Kenya Chairman Patricia Nyaundi among others.
Others include Zehrabanu Jan Mohamed, former International Commission of Jurists-Kenya Chairperson Wilfred Nderitu, John M. Ohaga, John Mugwimi Chigiti, OM Parkash Nagpal, Fackson Wainaina Kagwe (Dr.), Pravin Kumar Bowry, Charles Waweru Gatonye, Rautta Athiambo, Mohammed Nyaoga, Albert Mumma, Beautah Alukhava Siganga and Kiragu Kimani.
The outcome of the Committee on Senior Counsel chaired by Supreme Court judge Justice Mohamed Ibrahim had been met with consternation from a section of lawyers who felt the process was unfair because it favoured criminal lawyers over other fields.
To qualify, a person must have been an advocate of the High Court for more than 15 years or contributed to the development of the legal profession through scholarly writings and presentations.