Write notes on any three of the following

  1. Nationality by Descent
  2. The doctrine of stare decisis
  3. The writ of The Industrial Court
  4. habeas corpus
  5. Equity


1. Industrial Court. In addition to the ordinary law courts, there are also other tribunals such as Industrial Court and Rent Tribunals. The Industrial Court constituted under Trade Dispute Act, 1964, is of special interest to employer, employees and trade unions. The judge of the Court is appointed by the President for a term not less than five years, and must be an advocate of the High Court of not less than seven year’s standing. Section 14 (b) of, the Trade Dispute Act, also makes provisions for the appointment of four other members , and one of whom acts as a deputy to the judge. The function of the court is to decide issues concerning trade disputes which the Minister may, with the consent of the parties concerned, refer to it whenever a trade dispute arises. A party to any dispute before the Court may be represented at the proceedings by an official of a trade union or a union of employers .After hearing a dispute, the Court is empowered to make an award, including an interim award. The award made by the Court is final and conclusive, and no award shall be challenged in any court of law.


2. Nationality by Descent. Any person born anywhere outside Kenya on or after 11th December, 1963 acquires a citizenship of Kenya provided at the time of his birth his father is a citizen of Kenya. But the birth of the child must be registered at the Kenya consulate within one year of the birth.


3. The Doctrine of Stare Decisis. The literal meaning of the phrase is let the decisions stand. The principal of stare decisis has led to the development of case law or precedents. A precedent is a previous decision of a court which may, in certain circumstances be binding on another court in deciding a similar case. A full account of the nature of the doctrine of judicial precedent is given in answer to question 1,


4. The Writ of Habeas Corpus. The Constitution of Kenya guarantees the personal liberty of the individual, and where he is arrested or detained without lawful causes, he or any other person on his behalf may request the High Court to obtain his release by the issue of the writ of habeas corpus. The High Court issues such a write directing the person who is detaining him, to release or have the body of such person produced before the High Court.


5. Equity. English common law and rules of equity form part of the laws of Kenya. However, the application of the law of England is subject to two limitations. Firstly, it is applied only in the absence of local statutes on the particular subjects. Local laws takes precedence over English law as the latter is meant only to fill the gaps in the local system. Secondly, only that part of the English law that is suited to local circumstances will be applied.

Equity is a set of rules formulated and administered by the Court of Chancery before 1873 to supplement the rules of common law. As the Court of Chancery dealt with only those cases where common law either provided no remedy or provided an inadequate remedy, the rules of equity were never a complete system of law. It was merely a collection of isolated rules which were formulated to remedy the defects in common law or to make common law more reasonable and richer. The main contributions of equity are

  1. injuction,
  2. specific performance,
  3. e doctrine of part
  4. the right of redeeming the mortgaged property by the mortgagor
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