FIVE JUDGE BENCH SET TO HEAR CORD PETITION OVER TOUGH SECURITY LAWS MEANT TO CURB TERRORISM.

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A five judge bench Presiding Judge Isaac Lenaola and justice Mumbi Ngugi who are among the judges appointed by chief justice Willy Mutunga is set to hear the petition filed by Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) challenging Security laws (amendment) Act 2014 in the next 12 days.

BY SAM ALFAN.

A five judge bench appointed by chief justice Willy Mutunga is set to hear the petition filed by Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) challenging Security laws (amendment) Act 2014 in the next 12 days.
Presiding Judge Isaac Lenaola said the matter will be heard on January 28, 29 and 30. Other judges on the bench are Mumbi Ngugi, Hilary Chemitei, Hedwig Ongu’di and Louis Onguto.
Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga directed that the petition be heard on three consecutive days upon an agreement by parties.
He said that the judges should be able to deliver the judgment on or before February 13, 2015.
The appointment of the judges follows the directive by High Court judge George Odunga who suspended the operations of eight sections of the Security Laws (amendment) Act of 2014.
Judge Odunga ordered that the petition be heard expeditiously has its raises serious issues of the constitution and touches on the Bill Rights.
Cord wants the security law nullified on grounds that it violates human rights. Cord says the law is invalid because its provisions are inconsistent with the constitution.
They say the Security Laws Amendment Act 2014 was enacted contrary to the Standing Orders of the National Assembly.
The suspension of eight clauses of the controversial Security Amendment Act 2014 that is meant to curb rising insecurity unleashed by terrorism has been challenged by attorney General Githu Muigai
AG has filed a notice appeal against the January 2 decision by High Court Judge George Odunga following petitions by the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR).
In his application, the Attorney General argues the high court does not have power to suspend legislation that has been lawfully sanctioned by the National Assembly and assented to by the President without justifiable reasons. The law can only invalidated by a three-Judge constitutional bench appointed by the Chief Justice upon receiving valid grounds regarding the short-comings or excesses of the law, he said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta signed into law the controversial legislation on December 19 following unprecedented mayhem in the House. Parliament enjoys exclusive power to enact laws that are presumed to be lawful and the High Court can only intervene when there is evidence of interference with freedoms and liberties protected by the Constitution, Prof. Githu says.

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