Three employees of the ethics and anti-corruption watchdog were among four candidates interviewed for the position of Judge of the Industrial and Labour Relations Court on Tuesday.
Eight candidates have been interviewed for the position so far, marking the beginning of the end of an Executive-controlled Industrial Court.
The current court was formed by the Industrial Court Act, and operated under the Ministry of Labour.
As a result of that, some Kenyans viewed it as an appendage of the Executive while others perceived it to be a puppet of trade unions and employers.
The Constitution created the Industrial and Labour Relations Court under the Judicial Service Commission to replace it.
Mr Jorum Nelson Abuodha, a principal attorney at the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), told the interviewing panel that “cosmetic changes” in the Judiciary would not solve the problems in courts.
He was responding to Judicial Service Commission member Ahmednasir Abdulahi’s challenge that he explains what he meant in a past article cautioning against “cosmetic changes” in the Judiciary.
The candidate told the panel that he was calling for changes in all areas of the Judiciary and that hiring judges alone would not be enough.
Mr Abuodha holds a law degree and a Master’s in International Studies from the University of Nairobi.
Mr Francis Gikonyo Muthuku and Mr Timothy Kariuki Mwangi, also from EACC, and Mrs Anne Abong’o Omollo, a Kisumu-based advocate, also faced the panel at the Supreme Court in Nairobi.
The panel assessed the candidates’ understanding of national and international legal basis of the industrial court, and their grasp of labour laws, conventions and treaties relevant in Kenya.