Chief Justice Martha Koome has yet again defended her decision to pursue harmony with other arms of government.
According to Koome, in as much as there is a constant push for the independence of the Judiciary, the institution cannot work in isolation and requires the support of both the Executive and Parliament.
In the spirit of interdependence, the CJ noted that, so far, her change of tact is working. She says she must not necessarily be on a collision course with the other arms so as to project an image of an independent Judiciary.
“I have noted the concern by several Kenyans that the constructive dialogue approach that I have championed in a bid to reverse the dire operational state of the Judiciary will compromise the independence of the Judiciary,”
“Article 6 of our Constitution decrees that governmental functions should be undertaken in a consultative and cooperative manner,” she said
In her end of the year message to the country, the Supreme Court President assured Kenyans that her found relationship with the executive and legislature will not compromise the decisional autonomy of all judges and judicial officers.
“I will discharge my mandate as per the constitution and the Oath of Office that I took. The dialogue with other state agencies will be limited to institutional concerns of the Judiciary informed by the goal of having all state organs delivering on their shared responsibility of having a judiciary that can perform its duties optimally,” she said
Koome disclosed that her engagements with President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Speakers of the National Assembly and the Senate are bearing fruits, for the benefit of the judicial arm of government.
For instance, she says she has held constructive dialogues with other branches of government on a number of issues that have previously impeded operations of the judiciary and they are currently being addressed.
She says her decisions are borne out of the reality that all state organs have a shared responsibility to ensure access to justice for all.
“I note with appreciation that robust constructive dialogue has unlocked three key concerns for the Judiciary that have been pending for the last decade.”
“The first is the operationalization of the judiciary fund which is key to securing the financial independence of the judiciary. The second is the establishment of a judiciary police unit with 3,000 police officers which is key to securing judicial officers and judiciary infrastructure.”
“The third is the allocation of land (55 acres) which will enable us to realize the long-held dream of establishing a home for Kenya Judiciary Academy.” She disclosed