South Sudanese are fighting to be allowed to be admitted to the bar in Kenya

The plaintiffs, who claim to be refugees living in Kenya, argue that they are entitled to the full enjoyment of the rights and fundamental freedoms in the bill of rights guaranteed by the constitution.

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  • The plaintiffs, who claim to be refugees living in Kenya, argue that they are entitled to the full enjoyment of the rights and fundamental freedoms in the bill of rights guaranteed by the constitution.
  • At the moment Kenya bars South Sudanese nationals studying locally from being admitted as advocates in the country.

Steve Kawai, Mangok Akuot and Miji Wongo, who have schooled in Kenya from primary to university and later enrolled at Kenya School of law and were set to sit for their bar examinations from November 15, have now moved to court to challenge the law that bars them from practising law in Kenya.

At the moment Kenya bars South Sudanese nationals studying locally from being admitted as advocates in the country despite allowing foreign nationals from other four East Africa nations of Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda to be admitted to the bar and serve as advocates.

They also claim that since South Sudan has been admitted as a member of East African community, the treaty entered by the states gives them equal protection under Kenyan law like those from other member states.

However, their quest for justice hit a snag before it could even take off after they were blocked and informed by the Council of Legal Education (CLU) that Section 12 (a) of Advocates Act limit eligibility for admission to the roll of advocates to citizens of Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Tanzania.

There were however, allowed to sit for their bar examinations.

“Pending the hearing and determination of the petition, the first respondent (CLU) and is hereby ordered to allow the petitioners to sit for the bar examinations scheduled to start on November 15, 2018,” reads one of the orders sought by the three students.

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