The (advocates) Disciplinary Tribunal consists of the Attorney-General as its Chairman, the Solicitor-General or a person deputed by the Attorney-General, six advocates (other than the Chairman, Vice-Chairman or Secretary of the Society) of not less than ten(10) years standing. Since June 2002, a provision has been made for the appointment of three (3) lay persons into the tribunal. The committee may act as a tribunal of either three or five members. The tribunal sits largely as a court but with a bit of relaxation regarding the strict rules of evidence.
A complaint against an advocate of professional misconduct, which expression includes disgraceful or dishonorable incompatible with the status of an advocate, may be made to the Tribunal by any person. The Complaint is made by affidavit by the complainant setting out the allegations of professional misconduct.
The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) is Kenya’s premier bar association, with membership of all practicing advocates, currently numbering over twenty thousand members. It has the mandate to advise and assist members of the legal profession, the government and the larger public in all matters relating to the administration of justice in Kenya.
Where a case of professional misconduct on the part of an advocate has been made out, the Disciplinary Tribunal may order:
- That such advocate be admonished; or
- That such advocate be suspended from practice for a specified period not exceeding five years; or
- that the name of such advocate be struck off the Roll of Advocates; or
- That such advocate does pay a fine not exceeding one million shillings, or such combination of the above orders as the Committee thinks fit.
- That such advocate pays to the aggrieved person compensation or reimbursement not exceeding five million shillings.
Every advocate is subject to the jurisdiction of this tribunal. The Secretary of the Law Society of Kenya serves as the secretary to the Tribunal. The LSK Secretariat serves as the administrative arm of the committee. It receives the frame charges from the Advocates Complaints Commission, sets them down for plea and undertakes service of the process upon advocates. It is also in charge of ensuring compliance with orders of the Tribunal.