News24

Kenya gets its first supreme court

2011-06-17 17:30

Nairobi - Kenya has set up its first supreme court, one of the reforms provided for in the new constitution adopted in August, the government announced on Friday.

The court will have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine disputes relating to presidential elections, it said in statements.

It will also have appellate jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals from the Court of Appeal, up until now the country's highest jurisdiction, and other lower courts.

The new court will also handle appeals in cases involving interpretation or application of the constitution and in other cases deemed to be a matter of general public importance.

President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga appointed seven judges to the supreme court, following recommendations from a special committee.

They included Willy Mutunga, also appointed as chief justice, and Nancy Baraza as his deputy, a statement said.

Mutunga, Baraza and a third person, Keriako Tobiko, who is to be director of public prosecutions, were approved by parliament on Wednesday night after acrimonious debate.

The constitution adopted in August was one of the reforms that followed the post-election violence of 2007-2008 in which more than 1 100 people were killed, 3 500 people injured and up to 600 000 displaced.