By Wahome Thuku
The judges are Charles Pius Chemututt, Paul Kipsang Kosgei, Steward Mwachiru Madzayo and Edwin Kiiru Mukunya
The four have served as Industrial Court judges for many years and are the faces behind many decisions on labour disputes. But they had been appointed under the Labour Institutions Act.
The issue of their legality in office has been contentious since the new Constitution was enacted. The Constitution provides for enactment of a law to set up courts to deal with labour and employment matters.
Several people including Nairobi lawyer Dr Kiama Wangai and the United States International University (USIU) filed suits early this year challenging the legality of the continued stay in office.
Kiama and the university argued that the judges had no constitutional standing since they had not been sworn in after the promulgation of the constitution in August 2010.
Fifteen new judges were sworn in by President Kibaki on July 13 after vigorous interviews by the Judicial Service Commission but their efforts to take over the offices at the Industrial Court have been unsuccessful.
Following the appointment of new judges, there has been wrangling over whether the previous groups has been technically removed by the Judicial Service Commission.
“Some have refused to hand over their chambers,” said the LSK chairman
They say under the Industrial Court Act, they are supposed to move to the new court without being vetted or interviewed by the JSC.