The High Court has declared Presidential Executive Order 1 that sought to restructure the Judiciary and various tribunals into State departments unconstitutional.
Executive Order No. 1 of 2020 entitled "The Organization of Government" was issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta on May 11, 2020.
This comes a year after Chief Justice Emeritus David Maraga called out President Uhuru Kenyatta over the order.
"The Judiciary and the Judicial Service Commission are established under Chapter 10 of the Constitution. The Order cannot restructure or assign functions to the other co-equal and co-substantial arms of government and independent commissions,” he says.
Maraga said the Constitution only authorises the President to “direct and coordinate the functions of ministries and government departments” and that the Judiciary does not fall in any of the categories as it is an independent arm of the government.
He explained that the Constitution created the JSC and assigned it functions and powers and therefore the Order only applied to the Executive arm of the Government.
“I want to believe that this was an inadvertent error and that the office of the President will promptly issue a correction,” he said.
“This will serve to avoid confusion among members of the public as well as foster the constitutional letter and spirit of separation of powers. It will also avoid the unwitting undermining of the other independent arms of government and institutions.”