22 April 2019

Kenya: 22 Judges, 13 Lawyers Compete for Appeal Court Jobs

Photo: Daily Trust
(file photo).

Some 22 judges of the High Court have been shortlisted to fill nearly a dozen positions at the Appellate Court.

In the contenders' list for interviews set to begin on June 10 are also 13 advocates among them Dr Imaana Laibuuta, Moses Kurgat, Prof Nixon Sifuna and Paul Lilan.

The Court of Appeal has 11 vacant posts while two senior judges, Erastus Githinji and Alnashir Visram, are also set to retire this year.

The Judicial Service Commission is also seeking to recruit at least 41 judges to ease shortage in courts.

The Environment and Land Court has 20 vacancies, while the Employment and Labour Relations Court has 10 posts.

Retirement and promotion

The Court of Appeal has had a shortage of judges following retirement of some judges and promotion of others including Philomena Mwilu to the Supreme Court as the Deputy Chief Justice and Kihara Kariuki, who is now the Attorney-General.

Those that have retired include Justices John Mwera, Anyara Emukule, Festus Azangalala and GBM Kariuki.

There are four Court of Appeal stations in the country -- Nairobi, Kisumu, Malindi and Nyeri.

Among judges shortlisted for the Appellate court are justices George Odunga, who made a name while serving at the Judicial Review division of the High Court in Nairobi. He is currently the presiding judge at Machakos High Court.

Others are justices Msagha Mbogholi, one of the longest serving judges; Mumbi Ngugi, currently the head of Anti-Corruption Court at Milimani; Luka Kimaru and Jessie Lesiit, both of the criminal division of the High Court; Pauline Nyamweya, who replaced Mr Odunga, and jusricees Weldon Korir and Hedwig Ongudi.


Some 113 people had applied to be considered for the Court of Appeal positions but only 35 made the cut.

Of the 229 seeking jobs at the Environment Court, only 63 sere shortlisted, among them chief magistrates Francis Andayi and Peter Gesora and lawyers Wilfred Konosi, who practices in Nakuru, Lucas Naikuni and Jacqueline Mogeni.

For the Labour Court, JSC shortlisted 29 people from the 160 that had applied for the positions. They include FIDA lawyer Jemimah Keli and Renee Omondi.

According to the law, the JSC must ensure that not more than two-thirds of the members are of the same gender, and shall observe the principle of regional and ethnic balance.

There are only seven women judges at the Court of Appeal.


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