Chief Justice David Maraga on Thursday rejected the Executive Order No. 1 of 2020, which was issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta on 11th May,2020.
Maraga, in his statement sent out to the public, noted that his attention had been drawn to Executive Order No. 1 of 2020 entitled ‘The Organization of Government’ (particularly page 69 thereof) issued by the President on 11th May 2020, which he rejected saying the Judiciary is neither a Ministry or a government department.
According to the Chief Justice, the Order, which is under Article 132(3)b of the Constitution, only authorizes the President of the Republic of Kenya to direct and coordinate the functions of the ministries and government departments.
He further noted that the Judiciary and the Judicial Service Commission are independent departments under Chapter 10 of the Constitution, and therefore the Order cannot restructure or assign functions to them.
“The Order cannot restructure or assign functions to the other co-equal and co-substantial arms of government and independent commissions. An Executive Order cannot restructure or assign functions to the Judiciary or the Chief Justice,” the statement read.
According to Maraga, despite the fact that the President, through the Executive Order made pursuant to Article 132(3) (b) which empowers him to direct and coordinate the functions of the ministries and government departments, the Judiciary is neither a ministry or government department.
“..The Judiciary is neither a ministry or government department which can be organized by an Executive Order made pursuant to that provision. Similarly, an Executive Order restructure or assign functions to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) or its chairman,” he said.