Admission of the New Advocates

Admission of the New Advocates

I admitted the new advocates who are joining the

Bar at a pivotal moment when our country is at a crossroads. You belong to the generation that has been the focus of public discourse in our country in recent times, the generation known as “Gen Z.” I urge you to use your knowledge and skills in service of our country to help us navigate this historic moment.

I also encourage you to continue using your voices and skills to advocate for initiatives that strengthen democratic governance, respect for human rights, promote national unity and stability, advance peaceful resolution of disputes, and foster national development and progress.

I take this opportunity to extend condolences and sympathies, on behalf of the Judiciary and on my own behalf, to the families, friends, and relatives of those who have lost their lives during the mass protests that we have witnessed across the country. Many of them were young people whose lives were cut short before they could realize their full potential and dreams. The causes for which they died for. I also wish a quick recovery to those who are injured and still recuperating in various hospitals across the country.


When the Constitution provided for the right to peaceably and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket, and to present petitions to public authorities in Article 37, it did not envision that anyone would lose their life while exercising this right. Life remains sacrosanct as protected under Article 26 of the Constitution, and law enforcement should exercise proportionate force in balancing the protection of law and order with the rights of protesters. We should not witness cases of excessive use of force that threaten the lives of peaceful and unarmed protesters. I therefore condemn the excessive use of force on protestors that we have witnessed and urge that the perpetrators be disciplined, charged and prosecuted in accordance with the law. The State’s responsibility is to protect life, not take it away.

It is also important for me to speak on the role of the Judiciary as an independent arbiter of disputes in such times that we find ourselves in. The Judiciary is a non-partisan and impartial arbiter of disputes and conflicts that arise within our society. This means that the Judiciary must remain independent and cannot take sides in matters that have the likelihood to culminate into ripe disputes for resolution. This is an ideal that we will continue to respect and uphold so that everyone in our society can find reprieve within the justice sector.

Although the Judiciary is an impartial arbiter, we are not silent. The Judiciary communicates through Rulings and Judgements in exercise of its sacred responsibility to uphold and protect the Constitution. That is why Judges and Magistrates across the country are sitting beyond standard working hours, including over the weekend, to ensure that the fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution are protected and preserved. These efforts are largely undocumented because our focus is to serve without expecting accolades.

I commend Judges, Judicial Officers and Staff for their commitment and urge them to continue selflessly serving our people and nation in the spirit of the Constitution and our blueprint of social transformation through access to justice that places the people at the heart of everything that we do.

I reaffirm that our courts remain ready and open to hear and expeditiously determine all causes, especially those presented in connection to the ongoing unrest. We will do this in keeping faith with Article 48 of the Constitution, which grants every person in our country the right to access justice. This is a sacred right that will continue to be our guiding star. This commitment is to ensure that our nation continues on the path of the rule of law and constitutionalism and to guarantee that all state and non-state actors operate within the strict boundaries erected by our Bill of Rights

I also want to reiterate the importance for all of us, citizens and duty bearers, to conduct ourselves within the strict confines of the law and our Constitution. It is crucial to underscore that our Constitution provides for both rights and responsibilities. Those engaging in protests are under an obligation to do so in a peaceful manner and in a way that does not threaten life or property. I urge citizens not to violate the trust that the Constitution has bestowed us in Article 37 by vandalizing, looting and setting ablaze public and private property.

In addition, I call upon our law enforcement agencies to process any alleged criminal acts within the law. We should avoid any temptation to use extra-legal means including abductions as this violates the Constitution and the law. As I indicated in an earlier statement, all arrested persons should be brought before the courts of law in the manner envisaged by the law and within the prescribed Constitutional period. Courts will continue to sit for extended hours to ensure that citizens are not remanded for periods beyond what the Constitution provides.


Let me also speak to the attack on court infrastructure that we have witnessed on some of our court buildings across the country. Courts are the last bastions for the rule of law. I assure the country that our courts will continue to be havens of justice. I therefore urge all Kenyans to protect and respect court facilities.

Our Constitution envisions a culture of national dialogue and peaceful resolution of grievances and disputes. I urge all of us, as citizens of this great country, to remember that peaceful resolution of disputes and grievances is essential to secure national stability and a peaceful and prosperous future, as promised in our Constitution.

Abdisalaam Tuka

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