Kenya: JSC, Appeal Judge Fail to Reach Agreement on Retirement

Nairobi — The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and a Court of Appeal judge have failed to reach an out of court settlement in the contested plans to have him retired.

A lawyer representing the commission told the Employment and Labour Relations Court Judge Bryan Ongayo that the body has for the past week been conducting interviews for judges and has not been able to meet and discuss the issues raised by Justice Erastus Githinji who is contesting a notice to retire him.

"Given the circumstances, the court can proceed to write a ruling on the matter," the JSC lawyer said, a position also upheld by the lawyer representing the judge.

There is an order stopping JSC from retiring the aggrieved Court of Appeal judge.

JSC had in a letter dated October 30, 2018 communicated to the judge about his retirement.

However, according to the judge, the judiciary has all his documents including passport, income tax pin number, birth certificate and declaration form which shows that his retirement is December 30, 2019 and not July 1, 2019 as alleged by JSC.

"It is unfair to ask the judge to retire when he has not considered that option. He needs to be given a chance to serve," explained Justice Githinji's lawyer.

He added that JSC had not carried out proper computation and neither was the judge given an opportunity to be heard before JSC made the decision to retire him.

Article 167(1) of the Constitution provides that a judge shall retire from office on attaining the age of 70 years but may elect to retire at any time after attaining the age of 65 years.

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