NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 13 – The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has declined to make public its reasons for knocking out certain applicants for the posts of Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and Supreme Court judge.
This, despite concerns raised by the public, individual lawyers and the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), that the lack of transparency would not engender public confidence in the process.
“I feel it is important for preserving public confidence in the process that the reasons for which the candidates who did not make the shortlist be made public at the earliest possible convenience,” LSK President Isaac Okero wrote in a letter to acting JSC Chairperson Professor Margaret Kobia.
A representative of the JSC however, told Capital FM News that it would not make public its reasons but had instead taken the decision to write to individual applicants.
“It will then be upon individual applicants to decide whether or not to make such disclosure,” the official said.
Former JSC member Ahmednasir Abdullahi is among those that have called into question the criteria used to shortlist the applicants for the job of Chief Justice from 14 to six.
“14 candidates applied for CJ & only 6 are shortlisted for interviews..give me a break….is this 1988 mlolongo elections rigging ala KANU?,” he posed and added “Last time 12 candidates applied for CJ and all 12 were interviewed.”
The prominent lawyer was in the panel that hired the previous Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, and participated in others interviews for judges.
Former Minister for Justice and Presidential aspirant in the last General Election Martha Karua expressed similar sentiments.
“JSC should account to Kenyans on their criteria for short listing candidates! Public have a right to know,” Karua tweeted.