High Court Nullifies 23 Bills Passed By National Assembly

The judges, while giving the ruling on Thursday, declared the action as unconstitutional, null and void.

NAIROBI, Kenya, October 29, 2020 – The High Court has nullified 23 bills that were passed by the National Assembly without involving the Senate.

A three-judge bench on Thursday ruled that the Speaker of the National Assembly must involve his Senate counterpart. “The impugned acts are in contravention of Article 96, 109, 110, 111, 112 and 113 of the Constitution and are therefore unconstitutional, null and void,” the judges ruled.

The judges, while giving the ruling on Thursday, declared the action as unconstitutional, null and void.

“We are properly guided and in the circumstances of this case shall suspend our orders to nullify the impugned acts for a period of nine months within which period the National Assembly ought to have complied with provisions of Article 110 of the constitution and regularized this Acts and in default, they stand nullified,” the court ruled.

In the case, the Senate had moved to court challenging the decision by the National Assembly to pass bills without their input. On the cost of nullifying the Acts, the judges said the National Assembly should have thought about that before they passed the bills without Senate.

The National Assembly had argued that nullifying the acts would be a huge loss on the state considering the costs involved.

Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka

Among the bills include the Public Trustee (Amendment) Act, Building Surveyors Act 2018, Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act, as well as the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act 2018.

Others are the Equalisation Fund Appropriation Act 2018, the Sacco Societies (Amendments) 2018, National Youth Service Act, the Sports (Amendment) Act and the National Cohesion (Amendment) Act.

Senate moved to court against the National Assembly challenging the laws passed without their involvement arguing that a number of them relate to counties and the devolution process hence they should have been involved.

The judges further noted both Houses of Parliament should be involved in any bill that touches on counties.

The court further ruled that the amendment to Section 4 of the Kenya Medical Supplies Act is contrary to the law and is therefore unconstitutional thus null and void.

However, the court has suspended their ruling nullifying the Acts for a period of nine months. Senators have been embroiled in a long-standing dispute with the members of the National Assembly over the role of the Senate on matters legislation.

They have often accused their colleagues in the National Assembly of ignoring and undermining them. On the other hand, the National Assembly claims Senators are overstepping their mandate and duplicating the roles of Parliament.

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