Over a dry decision involving judicial review a judge introduces the shade of a Biblical mustard tree

High Court, Kenya

R v St Joseph’s School Rapogi

Dealing with the development of judicial review, Judge Antony Mrima wrote that the limits of judicial review were continuing to extend to meet the demands of administrative decisions. He added:

  1. The above analysis is in tandem with the holding in Re Bivac International SA (Bureau Veritas) (2005) & EA 43 where the development of judicial review was equated to the Biblical mustard seed which a man took and sow in his field and despite being the smaller of all seeds, it grew to become the bigger shrub of all and became a tree so that the birds of the air came and sheltered in its branches.
  2. Judicial review therefore stems from the doctrine of ultra-vires and the rules of natural justice and has grown to become a legal tree with branches in illegality, irrationality or impropriety of procedure (the three “I’s”) and has become the most powerful enforcement of constitutionalism, one of the greatest promoters of the rule of law and perhaps one of the most powerful tools against abuse of power and arbitrariness.  It is said that the grounds of judicial review can only be compared to the never-ending categories of negligence after the celebrated case of Donoglue vs Stephenson in the last century.