NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 5 — The Judicial Service Commission is set to commence the process of recruiting a new Deputy Chief Justice to replace Kalpana Rawal who retires in January next year.
Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Atieno Amadi says the JSC has served Rawal with a notice and will soon be advertising for the post in order to have a replacement ready when Rawal retires.
The JSC has also resolved not to let judges who are over the retirement age of 70 hear cases until a petition filed challenging the retirement age is concluded.
“It is a matter of public concern that the said judges continue to sit and render decisions, a matter that has caused anxiety to the general public, litigants, and the JSC. Out of an abundance of caution and in order to forestall any likely Constitutional crisis it was resolved that the respective judges will not hear and participate in any further proceedings until the case that they filed is heard and determined,” Amadi explained in a press statement, Saturday.
Supreme Court judge Phillip Tunoi and High Court judge David Onyancha moved to the Constitutional court last year challenging their removal from the bench before they attained the age of 74.
They argue they were hired prior to the promulgation of the Constitution and the previous retirement age of 74 should apply.
In March last year, Tunoi and Onyancha obtained orders barring their removal from the bench until their petition is heard and determined.
Rawal assumed office in May 2013, replacing Nancy Baraza as Deputy Chief Justice.
The JSC’s issuance of a retirement notice to Rawal comes amid debate on which between retirement age and terms in office takes presidence.
Grace Kaindi has for example challenged her removal from office as Deputy Inspector General of Police on the basis of her age arguing that she is yet to complete her term in office and challenging the, “unprocedural,” manner in which it was done.