Chief Justice David Maraga has introduced a new set of rules at the Supreme Court which are likely to change the landscape of future elections petitions.
In his new directive, Maraga who is set to retire on January 12 next year, sought to reduce the volume of documentation from election petitioners to a maximum of 30 pages worth of arguments.
This implementation is meant to tame down the ample loads of documents and submissions at the Supreme Court. Chief Justice David Maraga during a court session in 2017.
The new rules also outline the use of coded colours when filing documents for ease of navigation thereby saving time for the judges when reviewing the files.
In relation to appellate matters in the judicial system, he ruled that applications filed in court would be cut down to size and reduced to 15 pages.
The CJ also noted that should there be an election petition in 2022, all records of appeals would be filed in both electronic and hard copy.
“The default display view of all documents filed electronically shall be 100 per cent,” the rules stipulate.
Lawyers, prone to wittering on about matters regarding court cases, were dealt a heavy blow as the rules forbade them from making extensive quotations from documents or authorities. Furthermore, they are to file urgent applications by noontime on a Court working day.
The Supreme Court also has been given the mandate to stipulate when authorities lawyers can aid their case, hence prohibiting them from availing the hard copy of the judgment.
“Where the authorities are other decisions, the parties shall give the full citation, attach the hard-copy case law and highlight the relevant portion being relied on,” the rules say.
Maraga noted that failure to comply with the stated rules would result in penalties such as payment of costs and any other sanction that the court may impose in its discretion.
Though the Chief Justice is slated to retire, he will not be forgotten. This is due to the historic ruling made when he nullified the August 8, 2017, presidential elections.
This ruling, being the first of its kind in Africa, was lauded by many as they praised Maraga for the sheer brave efforts to rule against the man who had appointed him, President Uhuru Kenyatta.