NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 22 – The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has nominated 28 judges to serve in the High Court.
Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga said the JSC picked candidates of high integrity and professionalism but also considered gender, ethnicity and other forms of marginalisation.
“We picked the best candidates using the various criteria set out by the Constitution and the law. We considered academic backgrounds, the professional experience of the candidates and (their) personal integrity…we have picked candidates from rich diversities decreed by the Constitution and law including gender, ethnicity, country, generation, minorities and other forms of marginalisation,” he asserted
14 of the nominees were women including Stella Mutuku who had applied from the Diaspora. Joel Mwaura was also another candidate who had been working abroad.
The Commission has also picked Grace Mumbi who is an albino to serve as a judge of the High Court.
Dr Mutunga said most of the candidates are within their 40s with the oldest being 66 and the youngest 38.
The CJ appreciated that the new list will help ease the backlog in the Judiciary though he expressed the need for more judges to provide services in the country.
Before attaining the appropriate team of 120 judges of the High Court, Dr Mutunga revealed that the Judiciary will rely on volunteer advocates to clear the backlog that is up to now unmanageable due to shortage of judges.
He said the process of scrutinising the advocates from the Law Society of Kenya would begin in two weeks time.
The CJ said once certain amendments are made in regard to the recruitment of judicial officers, the process of hiring new judges will continue to ensure 120 judges are recruited by end of this year.
Attorney General Amos Wako announced that the new amendments which are seeking to leave the decision of hiring judges to JSC will be published before end of this week.
He says the amendments will enable the JSC to decide on the number of judges without having to go to Parliament for approval.
“The amendment will do away with the maximum. This will help us because whenever we get to the maximum we have to go to Parliament almost every year, the people who really determine how many people we require are the JSC,” he informed.
Dr Mutunga said computerisation of the Judiciary would be a key project in the reforms of the Judiciary.
He noted that the Supreme Court will entirely be I.T compliant.
“Computerisation already started, the issue at hand now is to speed it up. I can tell you that the Supreme Court will be entirely paperless from the word go. Courts like Eldoret are already computerised.”
He said computerisation will be possible since the judiciary was receiving a budgetary allocation of Sh9.2 billion which was three times its previous allocations.
Here is the full list of the new judges;
Prof. Ngugi Joel Mwaura
Ms.Ngugi Grace Mumbi
Mr. Mutava Joseph Mbalu
Ms Nyamweya Pauline
Mr.Murithi E dward Muthoga
Mr. Kimondo George Kanyi
Mr. Majanja David Amilcar Shikomera
Mrs. Githu Cecilia Wathaiya
Mrs. Jaden Thuranira Beatrice Nthiori
Mr. Korir Weldon Kipyeron
Mrs. Grace Lidembu Nzoika
Mrs. Meoli Christine Wanjiku
Mrs. Ongu’ndi Hedwig Imbosa
Ms. Mutuku Stella Ngali
Mrs. Ougo Rose Edwina Atieno
Mr. Ogola Erick Kennedy Okumu
Mr. Odungo George Vincent
Mrs. Stella Munai Muketi
Mr.Havelock Jonathan Bowen
Mr. Chemitei Hilary Kiplagat
Mr. Makau James Aaron
Mr. Tuiyot Francis
Mrs. Korir Roseline Cherotich Lagat
Mr. Mwongo Richard Mururu
Mrs. Achode Lydia Awino
Mrs. Mschila Abigail