Kenya’s former Attorney General Githu Muigai launched his book Power, Politics and Law on July 15, describing it as his “valedictory speech”.
Muigai is known for his biting humour and poetic diction in both legal and learning circles.
In attendance were the current Chief Justice Martha Koome as the guest of honour, and former CJ Willy Mutunga.
Prof John Osogo Ambani, the dean of Kabarak University’s School of Law noted that Kabarak University Press published the work.
“We must be proud of our homegrown industries, including faciliators of the intelligentsia,” Muigai said, “and not imagine that what makes one great is being printed by the Oxfords and Cambridges, and other places that lie across high seas.”
Muigai writes about how Constitutional Law shaped the politics of the Kenya.
It is an inter-disciplinary work about political positioning, legislature bargaining and constitutional amendments that are deliberative among political, parliamentary and judicial elites.
The book shows the trajectory of civil servants and politicians as the architects of constitutional order. In the mid-1990s, the courts became increasingly independent of the Executive.
Koome applauded the sharing of Muigai’s thoughts and experiences, terming the book a “shining example of legal scholarship” and an “invaluable contribution to our academic and cultural heritage by a serious senior official of state”.
"We Judges spend so much time writing judgments and not writing any books,” Koome said, adding that she has a manuscript that she has been tossing about. "When I retire, I will not only go to Kabarak University to teach about Children’s Law, but also get their university press to publish my book, the way they have for the former AG.”
Mutunga said Power, Politics and Law explains the political, ideological and legal instruments that define our jurisprudence, adding that even as “courts are reactionary, the curse of politics within our Courts undermines the Judiciary”.
Muigai defended the role of the attorney general by saying “we need room for politics to play its role for law to fully and organically develop”.