The Court of Appeal has stayed the orders issued by the High Court barring the recruitment of the Chief Justice and Supreme Court Judge.
Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is now free to nominate the next Chief Justice and conduct interviews for a Supreme Court Judge.
Those interviewed for CJ post are Justice Chitembwe Juma, Professor Patricia Kameri- Mbote, Lady Justice Martha Koome, Justice Marete Njagi, Senior Counsel Philip Murgor, Justice Nduma Mathews Nderi, Senior Counsel Fred Ngatia, Hon. Justice Ouko William Okello, Prof. Dr. Dr. Wekesa Moni and Lawyer Alice Jepkoech Yano.
All the 10 JSC commissioners – Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu (Supreme Court), Justice Mohamed Warsame (Court of Appeal), Justice David Majanja (High Court), Ms Olwande (Chief Magistrates Court), Macharia Njeru (Law Society of Kenya), Ms Ann Amadi (Judiciary Registrar), Mr Kihara Kariuki (Attorney General), Patrick Gichohi (Public Service Commission), Mr Felix Koskei (public representative) and Prof Olive Mugenda (public representative) – presided over the selection process.
The Commission is expected to now recommend a candidate for appointment by the President subject to approval by the National Assembly as provided for under Article 166 (1) of the Constitution.
Article 167 (2) caps the tenure of Chief Justice at ten years but the holder of the office is required to exit office regardless of attaining the mandatory retirement age outlined in Article 167 (1).
The new Chief Justice will be Kenya’s 15 and third under the 2010 Constitution.
The nine candidates scheduled to appear before the JSC to defend their suitability to be supreme court judge are Justice Said Chitembwe, Lady Justice Martha Koome, Justice M’inoti Kathurima, Justice Nduma Nderi, Lumumba Nyaberi, Justice William Ouko, Justice Joseph Sergon, Justice Marete Njagi, and Alice Yano.
The positions fell vacant following the retirement of Chief Justice David Maraga and Justice Jackton Boma Ojwang.