High Court Declares Unconstitutional Amendments to the Merchant Shipping Act, 2009

The High Court of Kenya sitting at Mombasa declared amendments to the Merchant Shipping Act, 2009, unconstitutional, null and void. The amendments were made via Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act, 2019.

The three-judge bench consisting of the Honourable Mr. Eric Ogolla, J., the Honourable Ms. Mugure Thande, J. and the Honourable Mr. Alfred Mabeya, J, ruled that the amendments were made without proper public participation. Parliament issued a six-day notice period for the public input, but the judges found that the time was not adequate and further the notice, made through the print media, lacked information touching on the amendments. As such, the judges ruled that the public could not engage meaningfully.

Interestingly, the court found that though different people appear to have presented memoranda to the Transport Committee in support of the amendments, the documents appeared similar and the judges concluded the memoranda must have originated from one source. We shall study the decision and give further details on the same.

The decision is available on http://kenyalaw.org/caselaw/cases/view/109380

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