The Historic 1st of September Judgement of the Supreme Court of Kenya annulling the election of Uhuru Kenyatta has put it on a global stage.Not many people in Kenya agree with the decision but the acceptance of the Judgement in good faith is unprecedented.As many of our readers across Africa show more interest in knowing more about the court,Anthony Atata of Courtroom Mail who has once visited the court, went on a voyage of discovery to provide them with the basic information about this supreme court that is the court of the moment across the world.
The Supreme Court of Kenya
Establishment of the Court
The Supreme Court is established under Article 163 of the Constitution as the final arbiter and interpreter of the Constitution
Composition of the court
The Court comprises of the Chief Justice, who is the President of the Court, the Deputy Chief Justice, who is the Vice-President of the Court and five other Judges
Exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and determine disputes relating to the elections to the office of President arising under Article 140 of the Constitution.
The Court has appellate jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals from the Court of Appeal and any other court or tribunal as prescribed by national legislation.
However appeals can only be;
As a matter of right where the case involves interpretation or application of the Constitution or a matter certified by the Supreme Court or the Court of
Appeal as one that involves a matter of general public importance. The Supreme Court may review a certification by the Court of Appeal and either affirm, vary or overturn it.
Render advisory opinion at the request of the National Government, any State organ, or any County Government with respect to any matter concerning County Government
Determine the validity of a declaration of a state of emergency; an extension of such a declaration or any legislation enacted or action taken in consequence of a declaration of a state of emergency.
Appeals from a tribunal constituted under Article 168 of the Constitution on removal of Judges from office.
Objective of the Court
These are provided for in Section 3 of the Supreme Court Act, No. 7, of 2011
Assert the supremacy of the Constitution and the sovereignty of the people of Kenya;
Provide authoritative and impartial interpretation of the Constitution;
Develop rich jurisprudence that respects Kenya’s history and traditions and facilitates its social, economic and political growth;
Enable important constitutional and other legal matters, especially matters on transition to the new Constitution be determined with due regard to the circumstances, history and cultures of the people; and Improve access to justice.
Seat of the Court
The Court sits in Nairobi at the Supreme Court building and is deemed to be properly constituted for purposes of its proceedings when five of the judges are sitting.
Being the highest court in the land, all other courts are bound by its decisions
CURRENT COMPOSITION OF THE SUPREME COURT OF KENYA
Hon. Justice David K. Maraga, Chief Justice & President Supreme Court of Kenya
Hon. Lady Justice Philomena Mbete Mwilu, Deputy Chief Justice & Vice President of the Supreme Court of Kenya
Hon. Justice (Prof.) Jackton Boma Ojwang
Hon. Justice Mohammed K. Ibrahim
Hon. Lady Justice Njoki S. Ndungu
Hon. Justice Dr Smokin C. Wanjala
Hon Justice Isaac Lenaola