A High Court in Nairobi has declared unconstitutional Presidential Executive Order 1 of 2020, setting the courts on yet another collision course with the Executive headed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Justice Aaron Makau on Wednesday nullified the Executive Order by the President which had sought to restructure the Judiciary and various tribunals into State departments falling under the Executive.
Among institutions that would have moved to the Executive are the Judicial Service Commission, Public Service Commission, Independent Boundaries and Electoral Commission and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights.
“A declaration be and is hereby issued that the Executive Order Number 1 of 2020, issued on 14, January, 2020, (Revised) purporting to organize the government and set out Judiciary and Its Tribunals, Commissions and Independent offices as institutions under the functions of ministries and government departments and other constitutional bodies are unconstitutional, null and void and contrary to the Constitution of Kenya, 2010,” reads the ruling in part.
Uhuru signed the Executive Order on May 11 last year to move the Judiciary, JSC and 39 other tribunals, ministries, commissions and independent offices under the Attorney General and various CSs.
The move was then challenged in court by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) on grounds that the order was unconstitutional and interfered with the independence of the said commissions.
In a rejoinder to an interim court suspension of the presidential order, the AG filed an objection, arguing that the said Executive Order met all the constitutional requirements.