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November 14, 2018

High Court quashes CJ, DCJ, Supreme Court judge shortlist as interviews commence

Judiciary chief registrar Anne Amadi /FILE
Judiciary chief registrar Anne Amadi /FILE

The High Court has quashed an advert shortlisting candidates for the position of Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and Supreme Court judge until the JSC reconsiders applicants who were left out of the list.                        

Justice George Odunga said on Monday that JSC cannot make any recommendations to the President on the appointments until candidates who were left out are reconsidered.

Among those who did not make the shortlist are lawyer Makau Mutua, Isaac Rutenberg, and Supreme Court judge Jackton Ojwang.

More on this: Why lawyer Makau Mutua, Ringera were locked out of CJ shortlist

In the case, professor Yash Pal Ghai and the Trusted Society of Human Rights Alliance moved to court to compel JSC to provide information or criteria used on the shortlisting of applicants for the positions.

They accused the Judicial Service Commission of failing to facilitate accountability and the transparent administration of justice.

But in its response, the commission denied breaching any of its constitutional duties in the ongoing recruitment process.

JSC’s secretary Anne Amadi said no valid grounds have been advanced as to why the commission should be restrained from proceeding with and concluding the process of recruitment of suitable persons to fill the vacant positions.

She argued that the court ought not to permit the petitioners to hold the entire country at ransom when there are no legitimate grounds upon which the process is challenged.

Also read: Man goes to court to stop CJ recruitment, says woman should get job for fairness

In an affidavit, Amadi confirmed that the commission duly observed and complied with all the applicable administrative procedures as stipulated in the constitution and the act.

She said the commission will ensure a fair and just process in scrutinising and reaching the list of the successful candidates who have been scheduled for interviews.

The JSC panel has already commenced interviews on Monday morning with Court of Appeal judge Alnashir Visram undergoing questioning.

More on this: Visram first to face JSC panel as CJ interviews begin August


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