The National Assembly has resolved to move to court to challenge a High Court ruling nullifying 23 Bills that were deemed to have failed the endorsement of the Senate.
National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi says no legislative business will be undertaken until the Judgement is reviewed.
“No legislative business will be undertaken by the House in the coming days, whether from the National Assembly or the Senate pending a way forward on the decision contained in the High Court’s Judgment, while seeking stay or setting aside of the Judgement by the Court of Appeal,” Muturi said in his communication.
This even as the senate hailed the court ruling with Siaya Senator James Orengo saying the parliamentary system will become to naught without the senate as designed in the constitution.
“This case is precedent-setting and in future, we cannot hesitate to go to court again in case there is an injustice. I believe that the Senate must continue to play its role and that role must not be emasculated,” said Orengo
A three-judge bench on Thursday last week ruled that the Speaker of the National Assembly must involve his Senate counterpart.
The Speaker has termed the judgment as unconstitutional, erroneous and flawed noting that it had a direct impact on the legislative work of the house.
He said a meeting by the house business committee had unanimously agreed that the court erred, misdirected and misapplied the Constitution.
Speaker Muturi, in particular, noted that the High Court failed to consider the architectural design of the bicameral Parliamentary system under the Constitution which clearly sets out the mandate of the two Houses of Parliament.
He argues that Article 109 of the Constitution mandates the National Assembly to enact Bills not concerning county governments without the participation of the Senate.
“The Senate is only mandated to participate in the enactment of laws concerning county governments. The High Court’s Judgment has effectively curtailed the National Assembly’s mandate under Article 109(3) of the Constitution by requiring that any Bill not concerning county government must be considered by the Senate too,” he explains in his communication.
According to the Speaker, the Judgment has far-reaching effects as it attempts to set aside previous judgments of the High Court and the Court of Appeal which had validated some of the 23 laws including the Finance Act, 2018, The National Government Constituency Development Fund Act, The Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act, No. 5 of 2018, The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act, 2018 and The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act, 2018 and 2019, amongst others.
He further points out that the court decision will affect government taxation measures, government international commitments, reforms and policy decisions already taken in relation to various Acts of Parliament.