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JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS

President Kenyatta should meet the CJ

In Summary

• In July 2019 the Judicial Service Commission recommended 30 new judges for the High Court and 11 for the Court of Appeal

• The executive has not confirmed the appointments because the NIS questioned the integrity of some nominees

Chief Justice David Maraga.
Chief Justice David Maraga.

Kenya has entered a mini-constitutional crisis.

Yesterday Chief Justice David Maraga stood on the steps of the Supreme Court and said that he had failed to secure an appointment to meet President Uhuru Kenyatta.

 

A year ago the Judicial Service Commission selected 30 judges for the High Court and 11 for the Court of Appeal. However the President has declined to ratify the appointments despite a High Court ruling in February that he is bound by the JSC recommendations.

 
 
 

Attorney General Kihara Kariuki is appealing that the powers of the President should not be circumscribed because he is the "head of state and government".

However the constitution defines a separation of powers between the executive, legislature and judiciary. The President's power is not unlimited.

Moreover, the 41 judges have allegedly not been appointed because the National Intelligence Service questioned the integrity of some nominees. But is that sufficient reason to block all the appointments? Why not just explain to the JSC that some of the judges are unacceptable?

President Kenyatta should meet the Chief Justice to discuss these matters before the situation gets out of hand.

Quote of the day: "There is a wisdom of the head, and a wisdom of the heart."

Charles Dickens
The English novelist died on June 9, 1870