The High Court of Kenya has suspended a directive by the State to Ministries and state departments to stop hiring external advocates unless with direct approval by the Attorney General.
Justice John Mativo granted leave to the Law Society of Kenya Nairobi Branch to institute judicial review proceedings against the Attorney General.
“That for avoidance of any doubt, the order of stay herein above granted is directed to the accounting officers and cabinet secretaries in the National Government stopping them from implementing the actions specified in paragraph 4 of the Chamber Summons dated July 20, 2020 pending the hearing and determination of the substantive application,” the judge ruled.
Cabinet Secretaries were directed to seek written approval from the Attorney General when contracting private counsel.
They were further ordered by the government to terminate within 21 days engagements with all external advocates who had been contracted without the express and prior grant of the concurrence of the Attorney General.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, who was addressing the 85 top government officials virtually a fortnight ago, also directed state agencies and public institutions that have filed court cases against one another to withdraw them within seven days.
In their application to court, LSK Nairobi branch argued that their members were not party to the deliberations and did not participate in the proceedings that led to the issuance of the resolution that terminated their contracts.
Through Lawyer Ahmednasir Abdulahi alias Grand Mullah, they stated that they are representing the interests of approximately 7,000 advocates who practice their trade within Nairobi.
Justice Mativo directed them to serve the AG and he has 15 days to file his response to the application and LSK Nairobi branch also have 15 days to respond.
The case will be mentioned on October 6 2020.