Constitutional lawyer Gibson Kamau Kuria has defended the Judiciary, saying it has been unfairly blamed in the fight against corruption.
Kuria said individual judges and magistrates might have fallen short of the standards but the institution is neither incompetent nor corrupt.
“Our bench and bar compare with the best in the world. The Kenya bar is respected in the whole world for promoting the rule of law and constitutionalism for decades,” Kuria said.
He spoke during the anti-corruption conference at Bomas in Nairobi last week.
He cited an article by lawyer Paul Mwangi, saying it painted a wrong impression that the Judiciary has not discharged its mandate correctly.
Kuria said Mwangi did not look at all the decisions rendered by magistrates, High Court and the Court of Appeal judges in relation to graft.“He opted to base his assertions on one decision by the Court of Appeal which cannot be said to give clear picture of the whole institution.”
He said there were three truths often ignored when blames are passed over to the judges and magistrates. Graft war has to happen in accordance with the rule of law in which human rights should not be ignored. The Judiciary is at liberty to free those who are wrongly charged and even stop charges where their object is to oppress an individual.
“The bill of rights also imposes limits on state power over the individual. This limitation is placed on all organs of government including Judiciary,” he said.
Kuria said the Constitution addresses many issues and that graft war has to be holistic for fairness.
“Fighting graft is not the only task which the constitution deals with. The individual has many needs such as living in dignity and in liberty.”