lawyer wants key LSK poll to precede hiring of judges

Monday March 18 2019


The Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

More by this Author

A city lawyer is seeking to stop the recruitment of judges until the male representative of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) in the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is elected.

In a suit filed at the High Court on Monday, Mr Adrian Kamotho Njenga has sued JSC, the commission which recruits judges. He has also sued the attorney-general and listed LSK as an interested party.

JSC advertised vacancies for judges of the Court of Appeal, Land and Environment Court and Employment and Labour Relations Court via a gazette notice published in February.

The said vacancies, whose call for applications is still open until March 18, had also been advertised in local dailies on February 22.

According to the lawyer, the Judicial Service Act requires all members of JSC to vote and declare finalists after the applicants have been nominated and interviewed.

He argues that unless all members of JSC vote, it is impossible to ascertain whether an applicant has met the threshold for recommendation for appointment as a judge.

He claims it will be logistically and strategically appropriate for JSC and the applicants to wait until a male representative of LSK in JSC is elected before the recruitment takes place.

“It is imperative that this court intervenes at the earliest instance to prevent JSC from proceeding further in a manner that may cast aspersions on the credibility of the appointment process of judges and occasion legal challenges at the tail end,” said Mr Njenga.

There is a pending case challenging clearance given to five candidates to vie for the LSK male representative.

Mr Njenga wants the process of shortlisting, scheduling of interviews, receiving public views, nominations and making recommendations with regards to the recruitment of new judges of the said court to be temporarily suspended.