KHRC applies to be enjoined in petition challenging CJ Maraga’s advisory to President

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The Kenya Human Rights Commission request to be admitted as amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) in the matter filed by two petitioners challenging the Chief Justice advisory to the President to dissolve Parliament has been certified urgent.

KHRC also wanted to be granted an opportunity to submit written and oral arguments and where necessary any other relevant information in the petition.

The commission wants to be admitted in the matter filed by Leina Kochellah and Mohsen Abdul Munasar versus Chief Justice David Maraga on grounds that they are an institution with expertise on constitutional law, administrative and public international law.

Through lawyer John Khaminwa, the intended amicus curiae states that they have significant expertise in the various provisions of the constitution that are specifically referenced in the issue in this petition and for which the petitioners have based their petition upon.

“The intended amicus curiae further believes that this application should be granted because at the heart of this case are significant issues of constitutionalism, the rule of law, good governance, human rights, transparency and accountability, principles and values that constitute and define the basic structure of our constitution. Moreover, this matter implicates the constitutional doctrine on public interest and as such the amicus curiae would be able to canvas and address that issue,” states the KHRC.

The High Court had suspended CJ Maraga‚Äôs advisory to President Uhuru Kenyatta on  dissolution of Parliament pending hearing and determination of the petition filed by the two.

Justice Weldon Korir ruled that it is also important to observe that it is in the public interest not to subject the country to parliamentary elections before exhaustively interrogating the constitutionality of the decision of the Chief Justice adding that the public interest therefore supports the issuance of conservatory orders.

The judge further noted that a reading of the constitution shows that the decision of the Chief Justice is expected to trigger action by the President without any further steps being taken, adding that once the president acts on the advisory the petition would be rendered nugatory.