Chief Justice Maraga named Jurist of the Year 2017

Chief Justice David Maraga L with ICJ Kenya Chairman Kelvin Mogeni poses with the Award

Chief Justice David Maraga (L) with ICJ Kenya Chairman Kelvin Mogeni at the award ceremony

12 DECEMBER 2017: Kenya’s Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court Justice David Kenani Maraga is the 2017 Jurist of the Year. The Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya) awarded him the annual award in an event graced by Retired Chief Justice Earnest Sakala of the Republic of Zambia.

For nearly three decades, ICJ Kenya has conferred this annual award on a distinguished Jurist.  The award primarily recognizes and acknowledges the outstanding contributions of an individual towards the promotion and protection of human rights, justice and the rule of law in Kenya.

ICJ Kenya Chairman Kelvin Mogeni who hosted the event termed Justice Maraga as an independent minded and hardworking judge who performs his work with diligence and determination and one dedicated to upholding democracy.

Justice Maraga was also recognized as a natural leader who served as presiding judge of the Court of Appeal in Kisumu, and as chairman of the Judiciary Working Committee on Election Preparations (JWCEP), which transformed into a permanent Judiciary Committee on Elections (JCE)], which liaises with stakeholders, evaluates judiciary’s role in the preparation and conduct of elections and advises the Judiciary on how to efficiently and expeditiously deal with election-related disputes.

Resulting from the Committee’s work, the Judiciary has been able to resolve all election disputes within the stipulated constitutional and statutory timelines.

In his acceptance speech the Chief Justice said the award will only serve as a challenge for his urge to turn the judiciary into the best institution and noted that the growth of a nation is tied to its respect for the democratic space and called for the respect of constitutional institutions.

Former Zambian chief justice Ernest Sakala who graced the occasion castigated the immense human violations which are not unique to Kenya but to other African states too.

Given the judiciary experienced unprecedented attacks from the political class after it invalidated the August 8th polls, retired Justice Sakala called on the judges to stay put and be courageous. He further urged for the recognition of the judiciary as an equal arm of the government.

The award is conferred every 10th December to commemorate the United Nations International Human Rights Day. Justice Maraga was awarded at a dinner ceremony held at the ICJ Kenya offices on 11th December 2017.

Download 2017 Jurist of the Year Citation

Download ICJ Kenya’s Chairman JOYA Opening remarks

Download Chief Justice David Maraga’s JOYA Acceptance Speech

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