Chief Justice David Maraga has introduced a new set of rules at the Supreme Court that are likely to change the landscape for future election petitions.
In its new directive, Maraga, which is preparing to retire on January 12 of next year, sought to reduce the volume of documentation for election petitioners to a maximum of 30 pages of arguments.
This implementation aims to tame the multitude of documents and submissions to the Supreme Court.
Chief Justice David Maraga at a hearing in 2017.
The new rules also describe the use of color coded documents when filing documents to facilitate navigation, which saves judges time when reviewing files.
Regarding appeals in the court system, he ruled that court applications would be scaled down and reduced to 15 pages.
The Chief Justice also noted that if there was an election petition in 2022, all appeals would be filed in both electronic and hard copy.
“The default display for all electronically filed documents will be 100%,” the rules state.
Lawyers, prone to worry about matters relating to court cases, were hit hard as the rules prohibited them from making many quotes from documents or authorities. In addition, they must file urgent motions before noon on a court working day.
The Supreme Court has also been given a mandate to stipulate when lawyers for the authorities can help their case, thus prohibiting them from using the hard copy of the judgment.
“When the authorities are other decisions, the parties must give the full citation, attach the case law on paper and highlight the relevant part relied on,” say the rules.
Maraga noted that failure to comply with the stated rules would result in penalties such as payment of fees and any other penalties the court may impose at its discretion.
Even if the Chief Justice must retire, he will not be forgotten. This is due to the landmark ruling when it annulled the presidential elections of August 8, 2017.
The move, being the first of its kind in Africa, was hailed by many as they praised Maraga for his courageous efforts to speak out against the man who appointed him, President Uhuru Kenyatta.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Chief Justice David Maraga