In Kenya, there are three arms of the government; The Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. The Legislature is tasked with the creation of laws. The executive ensures they are respected and governs the country or state with the aid of those laws. Judiciary’s role is to interpret, safeguard and administer justice, guided by those laws. As such, each arm is to operate independently but cooperatively within the system of checks and balances.
The independence of the Judiciary is actualized in several ways; Security of tenure for Judges, decisional independence of its officers, financial and operational independence of the institution. The constitution and statutes further provide protection for actions done within the course of official duty and functions.
Improper actions by judges and Judicial Officers are handled by the Judicial Service Commission which receives complaints from members of the public and staff of the judiciary. Where a judge is deemed to have committed gross violations of the constitution and the law, not being a criminal charge, the judicial service commission investigates and may recommend the formation of a tribunal to investigate the conduct of the judge. In matters involving other judicial officers and staff, the Judiciary Service Commission administers disciplinary actions and in extreme cases termination of employment.
The Judiciary Fund, operationalized in 2022, is meant to guarantee the operational independence of the Judiciary. Adequate financial provisions for the judiciary minimize tendencies of control and/or manipulation by the Executive or Legislature in carrying out its roles.
No matter the extent of measures put in place to secure Judicial independence, the successful execution of judicial duties comes down to honesty and strong moral principles. Professionals hired to serve justice must be of good conduct.