283/03 B / Kenya Summary of Facts 1. The communication is submitted by a Complainant who requests anonymity and presents the facts of the case as follows: 2. The Complainant alleges that on 30th September 2003, the Anti-Corruption Committee presented a report on corruption in the judiciary to the Chief Justice of Kenya in the presence of the press. The Report also known as the Ringera Report reveals shocking and endemic corruption in the judiciary and further lists the names of the judges alleged to have been involved in corrupt and unethical practices in the course of performing their duties. 3. On 4th October 2003 during a press conference, the Chief Justice without naming the judges is alleged to have given the said judges a two-week ultimatum to resign or face trial. Two days later, the Constitutional Affairs Assistant Minister is reported to have reiterated the deadline issued by the Chief Justice and warned that judges who ignore the deadline would face tribunals and prosecution for crimes committed. 4. The Complainant states that the Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association was quoted in the press as saying "we urge the judicial administration to inform those affected so that they can decide on their next course of action not forgetting the need for confidentiality" However, the Complainant claims that over the following several days none of the judges named in the report were informed of their presence on the list nor of the allegations leveled against them. 5. The Complainant avers that on 14th October 2003 it was reported through a six o'clock news broadcast that the President had appointed two tribunals to investigate the twenty-three (23) judges whose names were announced during the broadcast as well as their suspension. The Complainant asserts that this is the first time that the judges learnt of their presence on the list and of their immediate suspension. The announcement however did not contain details of the allegations made against each judge. It is however reported in the Daily Nation Newspaper on 18th October 2003 that the police would question some of the judges before they appear before the tribunals and it is only during those interrogations they will be informed of the accusations against them and their statements taken. 6. The Complainant alleges that as of 17th October 2003, the judges had still not received details of the allegations made against them despite continued press coverage of the matter. Although maintaining their innocence, some of the named judges tendered their resignations or sought retirement. 7. The Complainant further submits that the Chair of the Law Society of Kenya on 18th October 2003 announced through the press that the Society would in two weeks' time release its report containing a list of judges other than those named in the Ringer[a] Report. 8. The Complainant on the whole submits that failure to advise the judges mentioned in the Ringera Report of the allegations against them and to give them an opportunity to accept or dispute the allegations coupled with varied threats and warnings amounts to harassment and hounding of judges thereby undermining the principles of security of tenure and the independence of the judiciary. 9. Furthermore, the Complainant claims that the manner in which the whole matter was dealt with violates Articles 7 and 26 of the African Charter as well as other international human rights instruments namely the UN Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights. Complaint 10. The Complainant alleges a violation of 7 and 26 of the African Charter. Procedure 11. The communication was faxed and received at the Secretariat of the African Commission on 21st October 2003. The Complainant also requested the African Commission to take provisional Measures under Rule 111 of the Rules of the African Commission to ensure that the process of removal of judges does not interfere with independence of the judiciary and the right to a fair hearing. 12. The Secretariat of the African Commission on 24th October 2003 forwarded a copy of the communication as well as a draft Appeal Letter to the Chair of the African Commission and requested him 1

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