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Kenya’s Chief Justice Martha Koome has addressed recent attacks on the Judiciary, notably by President William Ruto, accusing the legal arm of corruption and hindering government projects. In an internal memo, CJ Koome condemned these remarks, asserting they could intimidate judges and influence rulings on ongoing court matters. She emphasized that challenging a court decision should be done through proper legal channels, urging judges to remain impartial.

CJ Koome highlighted the violation of the sub judice imperative when comments are made on pending court matters. She emphasized the importance of upholding the rule of law, stating that defying court orders jeopardizes public trust in government officials and risks anarchism in the nation. Allegations of corruption, as raised by the President, should be reported to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) rather than discussed publicly. Koome pledged to engage with the Executive and Legislature to address corruption claims.

In her role as JSC Chairperson, CJ Koome released a public statement expressing concern about the vilification of judges issuing unfavorable orders. She asserted the equality of the Judiciary and the Executive as separate government arms. Judges, according to Koome, will continue their mandates without fear or favor, emphasizing the importance of obeying court orders to maintain access to justice. The JSC assured prompt action against any judge or judicial officer found guilty of misconduct or corruption, reinforcing their commitment to upholding the Judicial Code of Conduct and Ethics.

The Chief Justice emphasized that ignoring court orders against the State undermines citizens’ right to access justice and weakens the legal system. The JSC, with a proven track record, pledged swift action against any judicial officer breaching ethical standards. Koome warned against the continued trend of public allegations without proper reporting mechanisms, stating that it erodes public trust and may lead to a breakdown of constitutional governance structures.

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In summary, Chief Justice Martha Koome condemned recent attacks on the Kenyan Judiciary, defending the independence of judges and urging them to remain impartial. She stressed the significance of following legal procedures to challenge court decisions and addressing corruption allegations through proper channels. The JSC, under Koome’s leadership, assured Kenyans of swift action against judicial misconduct while emphasizing the vital role of court orders in maintaining access to justice and upholding the rule of law.

 

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