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Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board wants errant judges monitored

COUNTIES
By Paul O Ogemba | Sep 7th 2016 | 1 min read
The Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board concluded its assignment yesterday by recommending the establishment of an independent tribunal to discipline errant officers.PHOTO: COURTESY

The Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board concluded its assignment yesterday by recommending the establishment of an independent tribunal to discipline errant officers.

In a report submitted to President Uhuru Kenyatta after five years of vetting that saw a number of judges and magistrates sacked, the board said there was urgent need to set up a judicial disciplinary tribunal to investigate public petitions against judicial officers.

The board was commissioned in 2011 to restore confidence in the Judiciary at a time when the majority of Kenyans had lost faith in the institution.

Presenting the final report to the President, the board's chairman, Sharad Rao, said the proposed tribunal should work under the Judicial Service Commission but have members drawn from outside the judiciary to avoid conflict of interest.

Mr Rao said although the board initially faced challenges and hostility from members of the Judiciary, its work was appreciated with time as it restored public confidence.

The report further recommends a broad structure to provide effective access to justice, more investment in human capital and proposals on how to reform the Judiciary.

Receiving the report, Uhuru challenged the Judiciary to be accountable in its work, saying negative perceptions would only erode the credibility of its rulings.

"The Judiciary must always understand that they are being watched," he said.

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