JSC interviews: Judge Florence Muchemi banks on experience

Thursday June 20 2019

Judge Florence Muchemi

Embu High Court judge Florence Muchemi reads a judgment on October 30, 2018. PHOTO | CHARLES WANYORO | NATION MEDIA GROU 

SAM KIPLAGAT
By SAM KIPLAGAT
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Embu High Court judge Florence Muchemi on Thursday listed her experience, integrity and hard work as some of the qualities that will see her make a good Court of Appeal judge.

Ms Muchemi, who has been a judicial officer for the last 35 years, spoke during her interview by a panel of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

She said she was happy to have cleared a backlog of cases in Embu and attributed this to restrictions on adjournments and unnecessary delays

The judge further noted that she surpassed her targets in 2018 yet her rating dropped to 48 percent this year, so she protested, leading to a review that saw the figure improve to 67 percent.

TEAMWORK

Justice Muchemi described herself as a team player and promised to respect her colleagues' opinions and decisions should she join the appellate court.

She also informed the panel of a celebrated ruling in a case filed by the Legal Resource Foundation over the fee charged for a P3 Form.

In a landmark ruling in April, the Embu High Court termed the levies charged at police stations as illegal.

Justice Muchemi noted that many poor survivors of violence do not access justice because they are unable to raise levies demanded to fill P3 forms.

She added that a survey conducted in Embu, Kiambu, Nakuru and Mombasa indicated that cases of victims of domestic violence were either withdrawn or thrown out because P3 forms, which form part of the evidence, were not filled.

OTHER INTERVIEWS

In his interview, justice Francis Tuiyott told the JSC that all arbitration matters should end at the High Court.

He said parties should appear before that court to adopt, enforce or set aside the arbitration award and that the decision should be final and binding.

Dr Kipkoech Chebii, the dean of law school at Moi University, said he will enrich the Court of Appeal especially on matters environment and comparative law.

Asked what he thought of a proposal to introduce a three-year waiting period before a divorce case is filed, Dr Chebii said there should be no restriction as couples who wish to terminate their union should be allowed to do so.

Some 35 people, among them 22 judges, are seeking to fill the 11 vacancies at the country’s second highest court.