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Judicial review in Kenya 

Judicial review is a process through which legislative and executive actions are subjected to review by the judiciary.

This means that a court with power to conduct a judicial review can make void and null acts, laws and government regulations if they are are not in line with the Constitution of Kenya 2010. 

Judicial review in Kenya is one of the available checks and balances which strengthens the doctrine of separation of powers. 

It is clear that judicial review in Kenya gives the judiciary power to supervise the executive and legislation more especially when they exceed their mandate or authority. 

Judicial Review in Kenya 

Dudley (2015) argues that both private and public bodies are subject to judicial review in Kenya. 

In Kenya, Judicial Review in Kenya applications must be determined within 90 days of filling the application. 

With the enactment of the Fair Administrative Action Act, 2015 many judicial review in Kenya applications were expected because the new law broadened the scope by allowing private bodies to be subject to judicial review. 

Before the enactment of the Fair Administrative Action Act, 2015, the High Court of Kenya had the monopoly to hear judicial review cases in Kenya. Now, you can apply “to a court in accordance with section 8 or a tribunal in exercise of its jurisdiction conferred in that regard under any written law.”

This brings on board many tribunals and courts to hear judicial review in Kenya.  

Grounds for judicial review in Kenya 

You can file for judicial review where: 

  • The administrator does not have jurisdiction or has exceeded their jurisdiction; 
  • There is bias of reasonable suspicion of bias; 
  • the affected person was denied a chance to state their case
  •  “situations non-compliance with mandatory and material procedures and conditions precedent, procedural unfairness and errors of law” 
  • “an administrator acts on ulterior motives calculated to prejudice the rights of the applicant, “
  • “fails to take all relevant considerations into account, acts on the basis of illegal delegation and also in bad faith”.
  • “there is no rational connection between that decision and either the purpose for which it was taken”
  •  “abuse of discretion and unreasonable delay or failure to act in discharge of a duty imposed under any written law.”
  • “Administrative actions which are unreasonable, disproportional, in violation of legitimate expectation, unfair or which result from or in abuse of power are also liable to judicial review.”

Read More: Kenya law blog 



The Fair Administrative Action Act, 2015 Guide 


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