Law Society of Kenya Lawyer Ahmednassir Abdullahi at Milimani law court.
BY SAM ALFAN.
High court issued orders restraining the Law Society of Kenya from compelling lawyers to give contributions to build the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) ambitious project.
Justice Mumbi Ngugi halted contributions by the society members, saying that advance argument by aggrieved parties indicates that the process was not inclusive.
The judge however stated that orders given in two other similar cases do not prevent any members of LSK willing to pay the money to do so.
The judge further ordered LSK to provide information to its members regarding the especial annual general meeting held on 27 September that came up with idea to establish the arbitration Centre.
The case involves four lawyers who are yet to be issued with a practicing certificate which requires that they pay an extra Sh 11,000 to acquire it.
The aggrieved advocates have accused the LSK of purportedly making the requisite charges as a precondition for the issuance of a practicing certificate.
They moved to court seeking the High court to quash the decision of the law society of Kenya on grounds that they were not consulted and neither was the issue listed as an agenda, so it can be voted at any of the LSKs Annual -General meeting.
“It is evident that the respondent is implementing the resolution of the meeting despite the same being contested,” she said.
She said the petitioners have the right to have information about the arbitration centre.
She said the legal umbrella body had the obligation to give information to its members since it has not presented a reason why it should not release the information or how prejudice will be suffered.
Deynes Murithii, Alexander Muchemi, Ann Cherono Konuche and Paul Kariba sued the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) for raising the fees up from Sh 39,000 to 50,000.
According the advocates, the lawyers’ umbrella body has hiked the amount to facilitate the construction of a Sh 1.2 billion International Arbitration Center.
Also section of Muslim lawyers filed a petition opposing the establishment of the LSK proposed Arbitration Centre in which they were being asked to make contribution towards the project.
The lawyers claim, that whereas the project is a positive move toward the promotion of the rule of law it goes against their religious believe and faith.
They argued that, the proposal arrived at the legal umbrella body in its special annual general held on 27 September at Hilton Hotel Nairobi which specifically centered on financing of the LSK Arbitration Centre Project constitute gross violation of their constitutional rights since they are being asked to finance and facilitate the payment of the loan to be secured from the bank.
The petitioners Obondi Victor, Musa Ali bashir, Abdil Yunis Khalid, Jama,Farah Mohamud among others, that meeting that resolved that 70 per cent of the project cost that is Sh1, 255,000,000 of the total cost of Sh 878,500,000 will be financed through a loan facility that will attract interest and members of the legal umbrella body will be compelled to contribute towards it.
The petitioner avers that the project will have a bar constructed within the premise contrary to their faith.