Yesterday, Thursday was quite a strange day. Usually I have one of the most tiring yet most intellectually fulfilling days of my week, this day being the only one on which I seem to have a sensible class…and interesting too. And that coming from a student lawyer is something. Considering that I have been working on a deadline for the past few weeks on some wicked assignment, which I surprisingly finished right on time. And by right on time I mean getting it printed 30 seconds before the lecturer asks for it…fresh and hot out of the press…pretty impressive eh?
Okay, enough of this boring talk about my class activities. I have been on a hiatus from publishing my clueless thoughts for a while now. But let that not fool you, they’ve been floating all over this head of mine, being outranked in urgency by those darned assignments I’ve already mentioned. So as a result this shall be my first ‘legal’ post. But don’t worry, I won’t go quoting Denning LJ and hurling Latin maxims at you…on 2nd thought, maybe I should…you know that ‘ignorance of the law’ yiddi-yadda..Hehe. Okay, seriously now.
Have you ever watched these American series, the legal ones especially, and wondered whether Kenyan courts come up to that level? You know, Suits, The Defenders, Franklin and Bash, not forgetting the amazing Boston Legal
(Oh Danny Crane! God Bless his soul!) I specifically remember a case that Alan Shaw (hata yeye abarikiwe zaidi tene na tene!) taking up a case against cigarette manufacturers for causing cancer – yeah them with all their billions of nicotine-stained billions – and winning it…ummh, yes, I know it was all on a script and acted…but…HE WON THE CASE! As in OMG! He Like…He Like Won The Case! As in I couldn’t believe it. *say this in those weird uptown voices that chics fake on the rave when in Westy…kwenda huko, tunajua kwenu ni Jericho!*
The United States of Whatever is known to have one of the most litigious populaces on our blessed earth. That’s why street-working lawyers don’t do that bad. And with litigious nature comes, in my narrow opinion, only two results.
The first being the most entertaining/ ridiculous claims ever witnessed on Earth! I am just too lazy to give any examples right now but maybe this one on an unsolicited blowjob will catch your eye…yes I said it…hehe! The second result (one that is repeatedly drilled into my head during each Law of Tort class I attend) is the improvement of provisions of services. A little more care here and there. And a pinch of responsibility where it’s most needed. Ever noticed just how much paperwork has to be signed in hospitals such as those on telly? Okay, maybe the shenanigans of Dr House and Dr Cuddy are much more engrossing. But from a local viewpoint, anyone who has been admitted into a private hospital knows all about these things. Sign here, there, over there, sign there too…ahh, don’t bother reading that fine print. It just contains the mother of all exclusion clauses that will rip your lawyer’s brains to shreds if you even dare of taking them to court. JUST SIGN IT! You might as well have signed someone’s death warrant unknowingly! (Read: DNR order…I simply don’t even understand why these even exist. Utter abomination to the sanctity of life.)
Back to the Kenyan scene. Recently, a friend of mine described to me how a family member of hers succumbed after undergoing surgery on a tumour. Yes, the loved one in question may have been elderly, but that cannot be an excuse for the surgeon(s) in charge being negligent in surgery such that instead of the bleeding reducing after surgery, it reaches an all-time high! We always hear of these bizarre cases: cotton wool left inside the abdomen, scalpels, scissors etc. inside the uterus and stuff like that. Have you ever noticed that cases are always OUTSIDE Kenya? Wow! Then our doctors/surgeons must be marvelous! Replicas of Ben Carson and such stuff, right?
Yeah right! Shoot me first! Once again, we Kenyans are just not litigious enough. Viewing the Courts as a hostile supremacy rather than our friend who we should rely on in times of need, ensuring justice prevails. Blame this on our history, rotten judiciary and all. But the past is the past! And NO!, the history does not repeat itself! Ask Noah about the flood, he’ll tell you! These stories never get out there because no-one is willing enough to seek refuge under the Courts arms.
This isn’t just about our medical professionals. It’s EVERYWHERE! Politics, business, Everything!
So you want a better Kenya? Straight up, I tell you: Go To Court!
*pro-bono services are available mind you, before you claim that expenses are too high*