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Monday, December 6, 2021

JSC nominates Justice William Ouko as next Supreme Court Judge

By The Frontier Post Reporter

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Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has nominated Court of Appeal president Justice William Ouko as the next Judge of the Supreme Court.

The JSC will now forward his name to President Uhuru Kenyatta, who will transmit it to Parliament for vetting.

If appointed, he will replace Judge Jackton Ojwang who retired in February 2020.

Justice Ouko is among the judicial officers who have been vocal, putting pressure on President Uhuru Kenyatta to appoint 41 judges, 10 of which were nominated to sit at the Court of Appeal.

The judge has a Master of Arts Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Egerton University and a Bachelor of Law from the University of Nairobi.

He has served at the Court of Appeal with Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu and Attorney General Kihara Kariuki, who are both members of the JSC interviewing panel.

Having served as secretary to the JSC when he was the registrar of the High Court between 2002 and 2004, Justice Ouko is also likely to have a head-start with the commission.

Ouko was admitted to the bar in 1987, briefly worked at Mbogholi Msagha and Company Advocates for a few months before joining the Judiciary as a district magistrate and within two years he had become a Deputy Registrar of the High Court.

He was promoted to Judiciary’s chief court administrator in 1997, a position he held until 2002 when he became the registrar of the High Court.

His first breakthrough as a superior court judge came in 2004 when he was appointed by retired President Mwai Kibaki as a High Court judge and then to the Court of Appeal in 2012.

He was elected as president of the Court of Appeal in 2018 to take over from Justice Kariuki, whose term had expired and subsequently appointed to head the State law office.

Ouko has also served as secretary to the National Council for Law Reporting, joint secretary of the committee set up to inquire into terms of service of the Judiciary, Committee on the Administration of Justice and the Commission of Inquiry into the Goldenberg scandal.

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