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Inside CJ Maraga’s new rules and future presidential petitions

Chief Justice David Maraga is retiring from the Supreme Court as he introduces new practice rules that will restrict presidential election petitioners to a maximum of 30 pages worth of arguments.

LN No6, 2020 published by CJ Maraga will also cut down wordy and talkative lawyers to size in 2022.

The new rules also includes the use of coded colors  for easy navigation and limiting the number of  applications for appellate matters to just 15 pages.

They knock out “interested parties” from participating in advisory opinion proceedings of the court.

“A volume of any document shall be bound in book form, printed on one side of the paper, and shall not exceed one hundred and fifty pages in length,” the rules say.

Maraga wants pages of each application to be consecutively numbered on the top right-hand corner and every tenth line of each document must be numbered in sequence, on the right-hand margin.

He also wants the documents to be double-spaced with font-size 12, Times New Roman font type, margins of 3.0 centimetres and above on the left, 2.0 centimetres on top and bottom and 1.5 centimetres on the right.

The retiring CJ also wants the record of appeal to be filed in both electronic form as well as in hard copy in 2022, should there be a petition.

The  laws will also bar lawyers from making extensive quotations from documents or authorities.

Lawyers will instead be required to make urgent applications “not later than noon on a Court working day”.

Only the Supreme Court will decide where the authorities lawyers can aide their case but they can give the full citation and make reference to paragraphs.

“Where the authorities are other decisions, the parties shall give the full citation, attach the hard-copy case law and highlight the relevant portion being relied on,” the rules say.

But when the lawyers will be relying on the constitution, statutes or other legal instruments such as treaties, protocols and conventions, they will give the full citation and an excerpt of the relevant provision.

Decisions to allow one to participate in the proceedings shall be arrived at at the pre-trial conference once the application has been certified urgent by the court registrar.

The decision to allow an amicus curie shall also be determined at the pre-trial conference.

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