Supreme Court of Kenya Functions and Powers


Supreme Court of Kenya has several functions and powers. The Supreme Court is established under Article 163 of the Constitution as the final arbiter and interpreter of the Constitution

Composition of the court

The Court comprises of the Chief Justice, who is the President of the Court, the Deputy Chief Justice, who is the Vice-President of the Court and five other Judges


Exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and determine disputes relating to the elections to the office of President arising under Article 140 of the Constitution.

The Court has appellate jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals from the Court of Appeal and any other court or tribunal as prescribed by national legislation.

However appeals can only be;

As a matter of right where the case involves interpretation or application of the Constitution or a matter certified by the Supreme Court or the Court of

Appeal as one that involves a matter of general public importance. The Supreme Court may review a certification by the Court of Appeal and either affirm, vary or overturn it.

Render advisory opinion at the request of the National Government, any State organ, or any County Government with respect to any matter concerning

County Government

Determine the validity of a declaration of a state of emergency; an extension of such a declaration or any legislation enacted or action taken in consequence of

a declaration of a state of emergency.


Appeals from a tribunal constituted under Article 168 of the Constitution on removal of Judges from office.

Objective of the Court

These are provided for in Section 3 of the Supreme Court Act, No. 7, of 2011

  • Assert the supremacy of the Constitution and the sovereignty of the people of Kenya;
  • Provide authoritative and impartial interpretation of the Constitution;
  • Develop rich jurisprudence that respects Kenya’s history and traditions and facilitates its social, economic and political growth;
  • Enable important constitutional and other legal matters, especially matters on transition to the new Constitution be determined with due regard to the circumstances, history and cultures of the people; and
  • Improve access to justice.

Seat of the Court

The Court sits in Nairobi at the Supreme Court building and is deemed to be properly constituted for purposes of its proceedings when five of the judges are sitting.

Being the highest court in the land, all other courts are bound by its decisions