Justice George Odunga awarded Jurist of the Year Award
Published on: December 08, 2018 01:18 (EAT)
High Court Judge George Vincent Odunga was awarded the Jurist of the Year Award by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ). ICJ lauded the judge describing him as consistent, fearless and impartial. “Indeed, you have affirmed and re-affirmed to the country that no man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man’s permission to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not as a favour,” a statement from the Jurists said. The ruling of the case involving lawyer Miguna Miguna was cited where the Justice Odunga found the high ranking government officials were in contempt of court. ICJ also applauded his ruling on the case involving the award of a tender to Dubai-based Al-Ghurair firm for the printing of the presidential ballot papers. “Our Jurist held that it is therefore clear that there is nothing barring the Court in appropriate cases from holding an officer of the Government individually liable where the conduct of that officer give rise to circumstances under which it would be unjust and oppressive,” the ICJ said. Justice Odunga’s background He was born in the late 1960s in western Kenya. Odunga attained a Bachelor’s degree in Law from the University of Nairobi and was admitted to the Bar as an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya in 1992. Career He started off his career at Behan & Okero Advocates, a private firm, in 1993. His publication “Odunga’s Digest on Civil Law and Procedure” a 10 volume set, contains the summary of all East African case law since before independence now in its 3rd Edition. “Only after his appointment as a Judge of the High Court, that his true calling and judicial philosophy would become manifest and crystallise. While serving as a High Court Judge, he himself as an independent and open minded Judge,” the ICJ statement reads. He is also the recipient of the “Distinguished Award on Administration of Justice.” Judge Odunga was a long serving representative of the Law Society in the Judiciary Rules Committee and Expeditious Disposal of Cases Committee. He now represents the High Court in the same committee and also sits in as a member of the High Court Advisory Committee and International Refugee Law Judges Association (Africa Chapter). He also served in the Commercial, Civil and Judicial Review Divisions of the High Court, Milimani and was until transferred to Machakos High Court as the Presiding Judge, the Presiding Judge in the Judicial Review Division. During his tenure, his court was feted as the best performing, most efficient and fast in hearing and determining cases.