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L-R: The ten candidates cleared for interviews are Justice Said Chitembwe, Prof. Patricia Mbote, Justice Martha Koome, Justice Marete Njagi, Philip Murgor, Justice Nduma Nderi, Fred Ngatia, Justice William Ouko, Prof. Wekesa Moni and Alice Yano/CFM

Kenya

Chief Justice interviews set for next week

NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 9 – The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is next week on Monday set to begin interviews for the recruitment of a new Chief Justice and a Supreme Court Judge. 

Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi on Friday said the week-long exercise will be conducted outside the Supreme Court.

The Commission has since shortlisted ten candidates for the position of Chief Justice which was left vacant following the retirement of David Maraga who exited in January 2021 on attaining the mandatory retirement age of 70. 

Maraga handed over the instruments of power to Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu who is holding the position on an acting basis until a substantive Chief Justice is appointed.

The ten candidates cleared for interviews are Justice Said Chitembwe, Prof. Patricia Mbote, Justice Martha Koome, Justice Marete Njagi, Philip Murgor, Justice Nduma Nderi, Fred Ngatia, Justice William Ouko, Prof. Wekesa Moni and Alice Yano. 

Those shortlisted for the Supreme Court judge position include Justice Said Chitembwe, Justice Martha Koome, Justice M’inoti Kathurima, Justice Nduma Nderi, Lumumba Nyaberi, Justice William Ouko, Justice Joseph Sergon and Alice Yano.

The position for the Supreme Court Judge was left vacant following the retirement of Justice Jackton Ojwang who retired in February, 2020.

Two candidates will be appearing before the commission each day, with one to be interviewed in the morning and another in the afternoon.

The Commission will interview the shortlisted persons before recommending a candidate for appointment by the President subject to approval by the National Assembly as provided for under Article 166 (1) of the Constitution.

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Article 167 (2) caps the tenure of Chief Justice at ten years but the holder of the office is required to exit office regardless on attaining the mandatory retirement age outlined in Article 167 (1).

The Chief Justice is the head of the Judiciary, the President of the Supreme Court and also serves as the chairperson of the JSC  

The JSC Act stipulates that the process of recruiting a Chief Justice should be conducted transparently.

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