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HomenewsJSC Stopped From Conducting CJ Interviews

JSC Stopped From Conducting CJ Interviews

The High Court on April 21, 2021, barred the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) from conducting interviews for the position of Supreme Court Judge.

Justices Anthony Mrima and Wilfrida Okwany also ordered the JSC to halt the deliberation for position of Chief Justice pending determination cases challenging the process.

“The constitutionality of the ongoing process has been challenged….. issues are novel,” the judges said.

The judges stated that the ongoing CJ interviews will continue but the JSC was barred from deliberating on the matter after concluding the interviews.

In one of the cases, one Tolphin Nafula argues that Professor Olive Mugenda was illegally appointed as interim vice chairperson of the JSC.

The petitioner argues that Mugenda’s appointment relegates the status of acting Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu to an ordinary member.

Through lawyer Danstan Omari, the petitioner opposed the idea of Prof. Mugenda-who is only a commissioner at the JSC chairing the interviews.

In another case, Memba Ocharo petitioned that the CJ interviews be adjourned until the nation is informed whether the remaining candidates have complied with Chapter 6 of the Constitution.

”……the ongoing interviews for the person suitable for the office of the Chief Justice be stopped to avoid further wastage of public funds and open dereliction of the respondent’s constitutional duty and their conduct of interview that are clearly anthemic to constitutional principles and dictates,” court papers read in part.

They accused the JSC of failing to vet the candidates before selecting them for interviews.

In another case, the petitioner alleged that the candidates had failed to submitt their wealth declaration forms and those of their spouses which is in breach of Chapter Six of the Constitution.

“That the failure by the candidates to provide their wealth declaration forms and those of their spouses yet they were shortlisted for interview and have since been interviewed for the prestigious position of the Chief Justice of Kenya is not only a waste of the taxpayers’ money but is also a serious dereliction of the respondent’s constitutional and statutory duty,” the court papers read in part.