Nairobi News

News

Court rejects government’s security laws petition

The government on Friday suffered a major blow in its attempt to enforce tough security laws after the Court of Appeal refused to reinstate suspended clauses.

The three-judge bench ruled that it would not be in the public interest to enact a law that will violate the very rights the State is seeking to protect.

Their ruling hands a major victory to the opposition Cord and human rights groups which are opposed the proposals.

This followed a request by the Attorney General and the Director of Public Prosecutions for the eight clauses to be reinstated while a case against the disputed laws is heard.

“When amending any law that touches on national security, Parliament must ensure there is no violation of human rights which is part of that national security,” justices Daniel Musinga, Patrick Kiage and Agnes Murgor ruled.

DEMOCRATIC PROCESS

They said human rights are part of Kenya’s democratic process and not even the State can remove them.

The judges dismissed AG Githu Muigai’s appeal, ruling that the balance of convenience favours the public who will suffer most if the laws violate their rights.

“When the government appeals against a ruling, it is assumed it does so in the interest of the public. It is not however in the interest of the public to enact a law that will violate the very public rights the State is seeking to protect,” ruled the judges.

Although the judges said the AG’s appeal was arguable, they were not convinced enough to reinstate the laws only based on alleged threats to Kenya’s security by terrorists.

Their decision was a second victory for the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) and human rights organizations who are challenging the constitutionality of the Security Laws (Amendment) Act 2014.