“We have a big problem, especially now, when a judge is hearing a case, sorry to say this, but the media is all over the place also trying the same case. If I may give an example, where somebody is accused of rape or defilement; the law is very clear, that person is not guilty until proved guilty by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt.
“But what will the media do sometimes? They’ll go to the papers and write today we’ve had a case of somebody who was accused of rape blah blah blah and it behoves on the judge or magistrate who is hearing cases of this nature to serve the worst, the severest of sentences on such culprits.”
“What the media has done and what it has already put in the hearts of the people is that this person is guilty and should be punished. That interferes with the independence of a judge or a magistrate because at the end of the day they are also human beings. So I would want to reduce the involvement of the media in the hearing of the cases unless the particular parties have been asked and they have accepted that the media should appear in the courts… it’s not just about the judge, do the litigants want their matter publicised?”
A position that drew criticism from both Chief Magistrate Emily Ominde and High Court judge Aggrey Muchelule
“Wanja with respect you would be saying that you would close our courts so that if there is a criminal process going on, until you have a result, Kenyans would have no business knowing what is going on in that court… How do you become accountable if you are not under constant scrutiny? So that constant scrutiny of a judicial officer is part of the job. So this enquiry, this scrutiny that appears to scare you, runs contrary to what the Constitution is providing.”
Julius also appeared to rub Ominde and Muchelule the wrong way when she described the Judiciary as being, “in the mud.”
“I’ll tell you what I am saying in a very simple way,” she said. “Before Mutunga became Chief Justice we didn’t even as much have toilets in the Judiciary. Now they are there. As simple as it sounds, if you want to know the achievements of an organisation just go to the toilets. But there is a problem still. Whereas we have vetted the judges and the magistrates, we have not vetted the clerks and the secretaries and therefore there is still corruption down there.”