Justice Maraga wants High Court to determine election petitions

Justice Maraga wants High Court to determine election petitions

Appellate Judge David Maraga has proposed the amendment of the Elections Act to allow the High Court to rule on election petitions for Members of County Assembly (MCAs).

Speaking on Wednesday when he appeared before a vetting panel of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) tasked with the search for a new Chief Justice, Maraga said that the Supreme Court should only be dedicated to resolving presidential election disputes with all other petitions ending at the Court of Appeal.

“We do not have a second appeal in many jurisdictions; otherwise cases would remain in court till next elections and hamper the work of elected representatives,” said the 64-year-old judge who is also the chair of the Judiciary Election Committee.

He further noted that, should he get the Chief Justice position, he would clear the backlog of cases in the judiciary, end corruption in the judiciary and tame cartels allegedly affecting delivery of justice in the country.

“As chair of the election committee, we proposed an amendment to amend Article 163(4) to have election petitions end at the Appeals Court with only presidential petitions being handled by the Supreme Court.”

“We can amend Article 75 (4) of Elections Act to make High Court decisions on MCA elections final, with other election matters ending at the Court of Appeal.”

If the Act is not amended, Maraga says, he would have to analyse issues raised and correct the errors made.

On matters of gay rights, abortion and surrogacy, Maraga said that he would only deal with the issues in accordance with the Constitution.

On Thursday legal scholar Philip Nzamba Kitonga will face the panel as the search the next Chief Justice continues.

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