Kenya

State must take tougher steps to ensure people's fundamental rights are not violated - Kenya’s apex court

The supreme court of Kenya has delivered a significant judgment on the right to shelter. It involved people who had been living in two informal settlements since the 1960s, when it was effectively public land. In 2013, they were forcibly evicted by a private entity, the Moi Educational Centre, with the help of the state via the police and others. The high court found in favour of the people who were evicted, saying there was an ‘unapologetic admission’ by the Moi Centre that it had evicted the people and had their homes demolished, all without a court order.

Read judgment

As the supreme court explains right at the start, this case concerns the interpretation of the right to accessible and adequate housing under the constitution’s Article 43 and, where a court finds violation of rights, the constitutional remedy of compensation.

Police act against two Kenyan high court judges, search chambers

Two judges of the high court in Kenya were questioned and their chambers searched last week, sparking widespread concern about whether this was a symptom of worsening relations between the judiciary and the executive. After the arrests – detectives now dispute that the judges were in fact ‘arrested’ – and questioning for several hours, the judges were released. Their lawyers said afterwards that the judges’ chambers had been searched, apparently for money that might have been evidence of bribery, but that nothing had been found.

The two judicial officers at the centre of this drama are Judges Said Chitembwe and Aggrey Muchelule both of whom are based at Milimani law courts in Nairobi.

A week ago, detectives arrived at the court building and went to the chambers of the two judges which were then searched. Though there were widespread reports by the media and others that the two judges were arrested, the directorate of criminal investigations (DCI) now claims this never happened.

Death penalty case re-visited by Kenya supreme court

Kenya’s supreme court has given special directions in relation to follow-up of its landmark 2017 decision in relation to the mandatory death penalty. At a special sitting of the court, its members questioned a number of court decisions delivered in the wake of the watershed case of Francis Muruatetu and said that the confusion that had arisen needed to be resolved.

Read court’s special directions

 

The case of Francis Muruatetu and another convict made world headlines in December 2017 when Kenya’s highest court declared that the mandatory death penalty for murder, imposed in the case of the two men, was unconstitutional.

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