Mitigating corruption in the Kenyan judiciary: a case study of legal and administrative anti- corruption framework
Mwithi, Kimanthi Lynn
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Corruption has been the downfall of the Kenyan Government since independence. Corrupt public officials, ranking from the President to the simple civil servant, have stolen public property worth billions of shillings in form of land, money, buildings among others. In the early post-independence years, corruption scandals mostly plagued the Executive branches and Legislative branches. However, in the 1980s, corruption spread to the judiciary as the Executive and Legislative branches started exerting undue political influence over judges to gain favorable judgments. From then onwards, corruption became the only means through which the ordinary citizen would gain access to the justice system. This study was primarily based on a qualitative analysis of literature concerning judicial corruption in Kenya. The study investigated the history, nature, scale and main factors promoting corruption in the Kenyan judiciary. It examined the anti-corruption reforms before and after the promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya 2010. Through various case studies of judicial corruption in other jurisdictions, the study reviewed several individual and institutional reforms that are suitable for mitigating judicial corruption in Kenya. This study concluded that the current reforms aren’t sufficient in mitigating corruption in the judiciary. This study recommends that certain political, socio-economic, cultural and individual incentives be introduced within the legal and administrative framework of the judiciary. These incentives include punitive individual punishment, leniency, whistleblowing mechanisms, asymmetric punishment and public awareness and education. These measures will serve as means of deterrence and education to supplement the existing anticorruption framework of the judiciary and mitigate judicial corruption.