Chief Justice opens 2024 Legal Year; warns judges, magistrates against constitutional violations

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By Anna Chibamu

CHIEF Justice Luke Malaba says it is regrettable that the Judiciary lost judges and magistrates over the years due to the invocation of mandatory disciplinary measures following cases of misconduct.

The Chief Justice speaking during the official opening of the 2024 legal year on Monday warned the officers that the Judiciary Service Commission-JSC would not hesitate to bring to book those violating the law.

“Where there exists the unfortunate scenario of judicial officers whose conduct is reproachable and is in violation of the provisions of the constitution or the Judicial Code of Ethics in the case of Judges and the Judicial Service Regulations and the Magistrates Code of Ethics in the case of magistrates, it will be inevitable that the relevant disciplinary measures will be invoked.

“It is therefore imperative that their conduct remains lawful and beyond reproach at all times. It is the only way that the public will retain confidence in the Judiciary,” Malaba said.

Justice Malaba urged the judges and magistrates to be agents of constitutionalism, observing the principles that guided the judiciary, and reminding the officers to be/ remain the gatekeepers of the constitution.

Presenting his speech under this year’s theme ‘The role of the judiciary in entrenching constitutionalism’ Malaba said: “It is regrettable that over the years, including the year under review, the Judiciary lost Judges and magistrates under the invocation of mandatory disciplinary measures necessitated by the doctrine of constitutionalism.

“The public expects that the provisions of the Constitution must be strictly applied.  In that regard the JSC will not shy away from enforcing and entrenching the constitutional obligation,” he added.

Malaba highlighted that to effectively uphold the rule of law, processes and decisions of the judiciary in dispensing justice must adhere to the principles of fairness, equality, impartiality and legality.