Duale introduces Contempt of Court Bill in the House

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Majority leader Aden Duale
A person who intimidates, willfully insults a judge or a witness during court proceedings will face a jail term of up to six months or Sh200,000 fine, the Contempt of Court Bill passes. The Bill has been introduced in the National Assembly by majority leader Aden Duale. It proposes punishment of offences, such as assaults, threats against a judge, judicial officer or witnesses.

Previously, the preserve for punishment of contempt of court proceedings has been in the High Court. But the proposed law empowers both the High Court and the Court of Appeal to punish, as is done by the High Court of Justice in England. The Bill says such power is critical in upholding the authority and dignity of subordinate courts and the rights of individuals.

Where a state organ, government department, ministry or corporation is guilty of contempt of court, the court is mandated to serve a notice of not less than 90 days to show cause why the proceedings should not be commenced against the accounting officer. The Bill provides room for appeals.

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