REPUBLIC OF KENYA THE JUDICIARY KEYNOTE ADDRESS OF THE DEPUTY CHIEF JUSTICE AT THE ELECTORAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION TRAINING FOR COURT OF APPEAL JUDGES ON 29TH JULY, 2013 Hon. Chair of the Judiciary Working Committee on Election
My sisters and brothers, let me begin by telling you how much I
miss this Court. Not that I do not value and appreciate my current
appointment, but I often get wistful about the many friendships and
great collegiality that I greatly enjoyed during my time in the Court
More importantly, I miss this Court because of the special role that
the Constitution and the law confer upon it. Although the Supreme
Court, where I now sit, is the apex court, this the final forum for
Since last year, the Chief Justice and the entire Judiciary has been
seized of the potential administrative crisis of resolving electoral
disputes timeously. The Judicial Working Committee on Elections
Preparations has worked tirelessly, planning ahead and facilitating
training and other arrangements – as result, we are on course to
complete all election petitions within the next month, well ahead of
deadline. Any appeals from these decisions must also be concluded
The Supreme Court has already set a precedent in determining the
first ever presidential election petition within what seemed like an
impossible deadline. The High Court had already set very high
standards in determining the election date and resolving the
dispute over the delimitation of boundaries. The Court of Appeal
also contributed to this speedy delivery of justice in the election
date last year by setting down importance jurisprudence. This is the
role the Court of Appeal must continue to play.
Judges are mandated by the Constitution to ensure access to
justice to all. They serve as the ultimate guardians of democracy by
protecting the voting process and upholding election laws with
As judges, we may differ in our opinions, hold different ideological
positions and rely on different well honed judicial instincts, given
our diverse backgrounds and professional experiences. Still, the
rule of law requires us to seek and foster a culture of coherence in
our judgments. Trainings such as these, therefore, give judges the
same tools and bind them to a common interest: to build their
capacity as Judges to effectively and efficiently resolve all electoral
Allow me to conclude my remarks by quoting Benjamin Franklin,
one of the founding fathers of the United States, who said: “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” This, in my humble opinion, encapsulates the essence of election dispute resolution.
It is not reasonable to expect every judge, on reaching a certain age,
to become magically transformed -- on taking the judicial oath –
into being able to hold judicial office, let alone resolve election
disputes. In order to answer the call of the Constitution, we need to
strengthen and deepen judges’ skills. The Constitution now
demands more of the role of a judge, and growing public scrutiny
and awareness of human rights, demand a higher standard.
Trainings such as these provide an opportunity to do just that.
Better trained judges mean better judges. Better Judges are, in
turn, better available to fulfil their judicial function, and it does no
harm to remind ourselves from time to time of what that is.
It is a great privilege for me to open this training workshop on
election dispute resolution. I congratulate the Judiciary Working
Committee on Election Preparations, under the leadership of my
brother, Hon. Justice Ibrahim, and the Judiciary Training Institute
for their outstanding work in building capacity to address election
disputes in a free, fair and impartial manner.
I sincerely wish to thank each and every one of you for attending
this training and I wish you all the best in this important workshop.
Honourable Lady Justice Kalpana Rawal, CBS DEPUTY CHIEF JUSTICE & VICE PRESIDENT OF THE SUPREME COURT OF KENYA
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