Composition of Industrial Court

i) Judges

The court consists of 2 judges of the High court appointed by the President of the Republic of Kenya for a term of not less than 5 yrs.

The qualifications of the persons appointed are the same as those of High Court Judges and has also been an advocate of a high court for not less than 7 years.

ii) Members

There are 8 members of IC appointed by the Minister of Labour after consultation with FKE and COTU. – Appointments is for a term of not less than 3 years.

One of the members is the Deputy appointed to the Judge by the Minister for Labour.

Where expedient (useful) the Judge may appoint two accessors one representing the employers and the other representing employees.

Where members are unable to agree as to the award or decision in any matter, the matter is decided by the Judge of the Court acting with full powers of the Umpire.

The award is final and there is no provision for appeal – the decision is binding.

When making decisions, the court takes into consideration the national economic conditions, the financial position of the employees and the existing collective bargaining agreements

Presentation of the case to the court involves the employer represented by the FKE, the employees represented by a union and the industrial court judge presiding and assisted by the other members of a court.

The judges and other members are eligible to re-appointment.

The appointments are notified in Kenya Gazette which also states terms for which such appointments are made .

The IC is not part of Kenya Judiciary Court. It is a special court created under the T.D Act and is entirely from the vote of the minister for labour

The decisions taken by the industrial court are not necessarily based on legal arguments and technicalities alone.  They go beyond the legal rights of the parties and stretch deeply into the spheres of economic, social human relations and political necessities which keep changing.

The success and the ad justification of the courts lies in the fact that it is not too regulastic in awards of decisions.

Although the court is financed by the Ministry of labour it is very independent hence is under no influence whatsoever either of the Ministers for labour or any other development except to the extend that the court has to take into consideration wages guidelines issued by the Minister for Finance.

The Judges are of the same status as High Court Judges.



The first industrial court was established in June 1964 by virtue of Trade Disputes Act of 1964 was later repeated on June 8th 1965. Section 14 of Trade Disputes Act gives powers to the President to establish an Industrial Court:  Today we have two industrial courts in Kenya:

The first court was filled with disputes which was making them to take long.  This called for an establishment of a second court.

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