RECRUITMENT DEBACLE

JSC meeting to recruit judges fails to agree on distribution

Members could not reach an understanding on a proposal to hire more judges from one region

In Summary
  • JSC plans to recruit more judges to meet the demand across the country where more courts have been opened 
  • Those working under JSC are some of the best paid members of staff in the country
Chief Justice Martha Koome addresses advocates on February 28
Chief Justice Martha Koome addresses advocates on February 28
Image: COURTESY

A meeting called by the Judicial Service Commission to discuss the number of new judges to be recruited failed to agree on the way forward.

The meeting on February 25 ended abruptly after members failed to reach an understanding on a proposal to recruit more judges from one region.

Officials aware of the issue said JSC members failed to agree on distribution of the judges to be recruited.

“Some wanted to see more judge recruited from certain regions, which is contrary to the law. It was rejected and the meeting ended,” an informed source said.

Another meeting to discuss the matter was scheduled at the end of this month.

A spokesman to the Chief Justice Martha Koome, who is the chair of the commission, did not respond to our queries.

The country is experiencing a shortage of judges in the High Court and the Court of Appeal.  

This has affected delivery of service at the Judiciary, hence the need for the recruitment.

Lawyers complain shortage of judges is to blame for the backlog of cases.

The Judiciary has announced a recruitment with over 100  positions to be filled.

The vacancies are ranging from legal counsel to software engineers and Information Communication and Technology assistants.

JSC expects to receive all applications on or before March 11.

The positions advertised are on a permanent and pensionable basis.

Those working under JSC are some of the best paid workers in the country.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission last year reviewed upwards the monthly salary of judges and magistrates, except for CJ and her deputy Philomena Mwilu.

Also left out in the new pay scheme are Supreme Court judges.

SRC increased allowances for judges and magistrates amid an ongoing court case challenging the pay raise.

The Court of Appeal judges will be paid a maximum of Sh1,156,108 up from Sh1,122,759 set through a letter dated August 18, 2017.

High Court judges will now earn a maximum of Sh1,000,974 up from Sh907,279.

The salary of the Chief Justice remains at Sh1.3 million while that of Deputy Chief Justice’s remains at Sh1.23 million.

Supreme Court judges’ pay is also retained at Sh1.218 million.

Chief magistrates earn Sh732,000 up from Sh650,253 set in 2017 while senior principal magistrates earn Sh485,000 up from Sh480,000.

Principal magistrates receive Sh365,000 up from 360,000.

Senior resident magistrates earn Sh329,000 up from Sh300,000 and a resident magistrate get Sh195,000 from Sh190,000.

SRC also raised the monthly non-practising allowance for judges from Sh13,000 to Sh20,000, while magistrates and Kadhis got Sh15,000, up from Sh10,000.

The commission also enhanced risk or security allowance for magistrates and Kadhis to Sh20,000 a month from Sh15,000.

Judges don't enjoy security allowance because they have police guards.

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