News From Across the Continent – June 2010

Kenya: Muslims Seek to Overturn Ruling on Kadhi Courts

A group of Muslims aggrieved by a decision to declare kadhi courts illegal are seeking to have the ruling suspended.

The eight clerics from Mombasa want the High Court to issue an order stopping action on last week’s ruling by the Constitutional Court, pending the hearing and determination of their case.

Lawyer Mohammed Balala filed the case under a certificate of urgency on June 2, 2010, saying the petitioners were aggrieved by Justices Joseph Nyamu, Roselyne Wendoh, and Mathew Emukule’s decision.

They said the kadhi courts provided an essential dispute resolution mechanism but a vacuum had been or was likely to be created.

“Should the judgment be executed, it would be impossible to reverse its consequences since it has already resulted in a serious crisis of confidence in the kadhi courts, and which can only be restored if the orders sought are issued,” they said.

The petitioners are Mr Yahya Muthaura, Mr Adam Indetie, Sheikh Hassan Mohammed, Mr Hamisi Mwanguwa, Mr Malyun Omar, Mr Juma Hassan, Ms Farida Hussein, and Mr Harrison Waweru.

Delivering their ruling in a matter filed by Rev Jesee Kamau and 26 others, the three judges said the inclusion of the courts in the supreme law of the country was illegal as favoured one religion.

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