Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Kenyan Judges, Lawyers Can Now Wear Studs, Dreadlocks

Below is a statement by Chief Justice Mutunga about the controversy on wearing a stud to the courts. He e-mailed this statement to a google group of Kenyan writers, and also posted on his Facebook page.

Over the past week, I have received questions on Facebook and Twitter by young lawyers about my position on studs and the dress code in Kenyan courts. To wit can lawyers appear before the Court wearing their studs? Because it is difficult for me to respond to each one of them individually, I wish to clarify my position here.

At this point, I can say that the Judges of the Supreme Court have agreed that we have no issues with anyone appearing before the Supreme Court, wearing their studs. Our position is that as long as officers of the court - both lawyers and judges can appear smart, a stud - or indeed dreadlocks - should not hinder the administration of justice.

At the Supreme Court, we shall not be wearing the colonial wigs and robes, and we shall seek the input of Kenyans on a simple robe that can be worn over a suit, for example. We will encourage the Court of Appeal and the High Court to review the dress code there. We will dialogue with them and the LSK and we expect the public to participate in the debate.

Willy Mutunga,
Chief Justice, Republic of Kenya
President of the Supreme Court

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