Without naming Dr Ruto, the CJ added that defying court orders is a breach of the public trust placed in state and public officers who should at all times act in a manner consistent with the objects and purposes of the Constitution.
“In this regard, and in line with our corresponding constitutional duty to uphold the Constitution at all times, I call upon you to ensure that court orders are enforced and that judicial authority is unflinchingly upheld,” the statement read.
Justice Koome called on other state organs and stakeholders in the judiciary to engage in dialogue to ensure the “constitutional order of our nation where justice is a common good for all”.
The CJ regretted the recurring trend of discussing live matters in court in public, saying it was a matter of great concern as it tended to threaten and intimidate judges and judicial officers to rule in a particular way on matters that affect government policy.
She urged the judges to continue to discharge their duties without fear or favour and in accordance with the judicial oath of office, saying her office and the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) will continue to protect the constitutional principle that guarantees the discharge of their mandate without control or direction from any person or authority.
In a statement issued by the JSC, Justice Koome said that deliberately ignoring or disobeying court orders undermines the right of access to justice, as it “fatally undermines the effectiveness of the legal system on which ordinary citizens rely to have their rights and legal obligations enforced”.
“The JSC has therefore noted with concern that honourable judges and judicial officers have been subjected to public criticism and vilification for issuing court orders that are perceived to be contrary to state programmes and policies,” Justice Koome said.
The statement reaffirmed the independence and integrity of the judiciary as a co-equal arm of government and urged all judges and magistrates to discharge their duties without fear or favour.