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HomebioJustice George Odunga Biography, Age, Education, Career and Family 

Justice George Odunga Biography, Age, Education, Career and Family 

Justice George Vincent Odunga is an award winning High Court judge who has made a name for his efficiency and ‘bold’ rulings.  During his tenure in the Commercial, Civil and Judicial review divisions of the high court Milimani, his court was feted as best performing , most efficient and fast in hearing and determining cases. 

Justice Odunga has presided over some high profile cases, including those challenging the constitutionality of executive actions, which made him one of the most visible judges at Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi. 

In 2018, he was awarded the Jurist of the Year Award by the International Commission of Justice (ICJ). The ICJ made this decision with regards to the ruling on the Miguna Miguna deportation case. ICJ described Odunga as ‘consistent, fearless and impartial’. 

Age

He was born in the late 1960s in Western Kenya. 

Education

He attained a Bachelor’s degree in Law from the University of Nairobi and was admitted to the bar as an advocate for the high court of Kenya in 1992.

Career

Justice Odunga started off his career at Beham & Okero Advocates, a private firm in 1993. 

The judge had previously been working at the Milimani courts before he was moved to Machakos. Some of the high profile cases he handled while at Milimani include:

  • The suit challenging the constitutionality of a raft of security laws that parliament passed in a chaotic session in 2015 following a wave of terrorist attacks in Nairobi and other parts of the country. He picked some segments and declared them unconstitutional, attracting the wrath of the ruling party parliamentarians who labelled him an activist  judge. The court of appeal upheld his decision.

 

  • In 2017, he challenged the legality of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries commission’s (IEBC)  county elections manager and determined they were illegally in office just one day to the August 8 polls. The decision was overturned by the court of appeal after the state challenged it. 

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  • He was called upon to hear and determine the highly charged dispute arising from the deportation and detention of lawyer Miguna Miguna at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). Dr. Miguna was not released as ordered by the court and summons requiring interior secretary Fred Matiang’i and then Inspector General Joseph Boinett and immigration to appear before court were ignored. The three were found in contempt of court and Ultimately fined Ksh200,000 each. 

In April 2018, he became the presiding judge in Machakos, swapping places with Justice Pauline Nyamweya who went to Nairobi. 

In 2020, he made a ruling convicting a former police officer. During the case, he advised those who have been left by their lovers to accept the decision no matter how painful it was and to avoid violence. In the case, former police officer Anthony Muema Mutisya had been convicted of burning a house where he suspected his colleague and partner Mary Nyakio Mwangi were together. Mutisya had been convicted of attempted murder of their child who died in the fire. 

Among Judges Who Stopped Reggae

The Building Bridges Bridges Initiative (BBI) came to a screeching halt after a five judge bench found the process unconstitutional and blocked the IEBC from holding a referendum that would see the governance structure of Kenya changed. Among the judges who made the shock ruling included George Odunga, Jairus Ngaah, Teresia Matheka and Chacha Mwita and Joel Ngugi.