Chief Justice Martha Koome on Monday presided over the admission of 96 lawyers to the Roll of Advocates, terming the process a turning point for the newbies in their legal professions.
CJ Koome told the lawyers that even though the transition means an end to a period of studies and the beginning of practice, it should not necessarily mean learning comes to an end as an “ideal lawyer must keep abreast with the law and other developments in society.”
Speaking at the Supreme Court, the CJ urged the graduates to reduce the backlog of cases and delayed delivery of justice by abandoning the age-old practices of unnecessary adjournments.
“The required standard of conduct for an Advocate in a just social order includes living by higher values of professional, personal and social ethics. In terms of professional ethics for the lawyer in the post-2010 dispensation, this includes embracing higher standards of lawyering,” she said.
“It means as lawyers you have to be part of the process of developing the constitutionally decreed indigenous social justice jurisprudence by availing to Judges and Judicial Officers arguments and relevant legal materials on the latest learning in the law; and you also have to be part of the solution to the problem of case backlog and delayed delivery of justice by ensuring that you abandon the age old practices of unnecessary adjournments that delay the hearing of cases.”
Further, CJ Koome advocated for a multi-door approach to the delivery of justice that recognizes the utility of the small claims courts, alternative systems of justice, and alternative dispute resolution.
She also called on the newly-admitted advocates to conduct themselves in a manner that upholds professional, personal, and social ethics.
CJ Koome warned against such practices witnessed in the past of advocates depriving clients the proceeds from the conveyance or litigation briefs that they handle on their behalf.
“Such unethical conduct goes against the ethic of ‘utu’ that underlies our constitutional order. I hope yours will be the generation of lawyers that puts a stop to such practices and no one from this lot of advocates will be struck off the roll of advocates that you have joined today due to such acts of professional misconduct,” she said.
She also urged the advocates to follow the Constitution and ensure justice to the vulnerable in society such as victims of gender based violence, children, and people living with disabilities.
The ceremony was attended by Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, Deputy Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Paul Maina, Jacinta Nyamosi from the ODPP, Lawrence Muiruri from the AG’s office, and Mercy Wambua of the LSK.
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