Lawmakers approve nominees to JSC

October 21, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 21- Parliament on Tuesday approved the names of two nominees to the Judicial Service Commission and set in motion the process of reforming the Judiciary.

High Court judge Isaac Lenaola and Principal Magistrate Emily Ominde will now take up the positions at the commission to be constituted of seven other members.

While moving for the adoption of the names, the vice chairman of the  Parliamentary Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs Njoroge Baiya urged other professional bodies to fast track the naming of their members.

The Law Society of Kenya is set to meet next week where they are expected to nominate two members to sit on the Commission.

MPs showered praise on the two nominees saying that they represented a renaissance of a youthful leadership as had been exhibited by the nomination of the two young professionals.

The two nominees were described as "youthful and equal to the task that they managed to attain the confidence of their peers."

Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo and his predecessor at the Constitutional Affairs docket, Martha Karua, said that this was part of broader reformers which will also require political will to succeed.

Mr Kilonzo said: "The selection determines integrity and suitability, we have a rotten judiciary but there are good judges and magistrates in there."

The two however added that the two nominees would still be vetted once the vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill is passed.

Lands Minister James Orengo added; "I am glad that both the AG and Mutula are speaking the language of reform; we don\’t want to live in the past the future is what we are creating now."

"If we had a strong judiciary (Kenneth) Matiba would not be in the condition he is in today.  He would not have been held in detention for longer than he did; I would not have been put in detention," he said.

Attorney General Amos Wako found himself in trouble after he tried to defend himself as one of those who participated in the fight for reforms.

Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara faulted the AG saying that contrary to Mr Wako\’s assertion, during his tenure he oversaw his unlawful detention at the dreaded Nyayo House torture chambers.

In his contribution, Mr Wako said that Justice Lenaola had proved himself as one who is efficient in case management adding that he had been able to deal with a back log in Machakos and Kakamega where he had been posted.

CIOC chairman Abdikadir Mohammed said the Commission offers a framework that will be able to hold the judges to account and ensure they do their work.

"It is said that when people fear the government it is anarchy but when it is the opposite it is liberty; liberty is guaranteed by the free judiciary," he said.


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