Posts of CJ, deputy to be advertised

February 26, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 26 – The posts of Chief Justice and the Deputy CJ will be advertised next Tuesday.

The Judicial Service Commission will also advertise five slots for judges of the envisaged Supreme Court. This will be the first time the country is advertising posts or the CJ and judges.

The decision to advertise the posts was made at a two-day retreat of the Judicial Service Commission at a Nairobi Hotel which was chaired by the city lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi.

"We want this country to get its next Chief Justice in the most transparent public manner and soonest possible," said Mr Abdullahi.   

The meeting\’s chairman said: "this will be a souvenir for the country."                                                      

"This is the first time a country is advertising the post of a CJ in the entire world. Other nations have advertised for judges of the High court," said Mr Abdullahi.                    
A four member committee was tasked with the responsibility of drafting the requirements of the seven posts and is expected to meet on Monday morning before the whole commission meets later in the afternoon to endorse the advert.

The four committee members are Mr Abdullahi, Attorney General Amos Wako, Judge Isaac Lenaola and magistrate Emily Ominde.

President Mwai Kibaki tasked the Commission with the process of identifying the next CJ to replace Evan Gicheru whose term effectively expires this Sunday as stipulated in the new Constitution.

The President had earlier nominated Court of Appeal Judge Alnashir Visram as the Chief Justice but his nomination was revoked alongside that of lawyers Githu Muigai and Kioko Kilukumi as Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecutions respectively.

The President had also nominated William Kirwa for Controller of Budget but the candidates were opposed by Prime Minister Raila Odinga claiming he was not fully consulted. Women organisations also opposed them on the basis of gender disparity.

There have been fears that there will be a vacuum when Justice Gicheru retires and some have even proposed the appointment of an acting CJ, but this proposal has been opposed by the JSC and the Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution.

And on Saturday, the commission also decided to back down on an earlier proposal to elect a vice chairperson to chair the commission in the interim.

The members instead decided that the commission would be chaired by different commissioners on a rotational basis until the CJ who is the chairman is hired. The Registrar will remain the Convener.

"For transparency we have agreed that every session we will have an interim chair," said Attorney General Amos Wako.

The AG refused to be withdrawn into discussing any other issues.

The Judiciary will run on the guidance of the JSC, the Registrar Lydia Achode and the two principal judges of the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

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