Law Society of Kenya Points Out Jurisdiction Issues With EACC Supreme Court Registrar Probe

The Law Society of Kenya has called on the EACC to stop its investigations into the alleged misconduct of Supreme Court registrar Esther Nyaiyaki.

Isaac Okero, the society’s chairman said on Wednesday that if the anti-corruption agency proceeds with the probe, it would be a blatant violation of the constitution because it does not have jurisdiction over the Judiciary.

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He pointed out that the commission has no authority to intervene or conduct an inquiry or investigation replicating judiciary or JSC functions. Such attempts by the EACC would amount to an attack on the independence of the judiciary and would have significant ramifications.

“The JSC is an independent commission established by Article 171 of the constitution. It is domiciled within the Judiciary arm of government,” Mr. Okero said in a statement.

“It has a constitutional mandate to promote and facilitate the independence and accountability of the judiciary.”

Okero noted that the Judicial Service Commission has administrative powers to discipline registrars, magistrates, and other staff of the judiciary.

“Acts or omissions by such officers occurring within proceedings before a superior court are subject only to action taken by the court seized of said proceedings,” he said.

“Any such acts or omissions fall within the purview of the exercise of the judicial authority which shall be subject only to the constitution and the law and shall not be subject to the control or direction of any person or authority.”

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Okero said Esther Nyaiyaki was acting as Registrar of the Supreme Court in the execution of an interim order of the highest court in the land.

“It is only the Supreme Court that has the judicial and constitutional authority to investigate any complaint about non-compliance with its orders.”