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Judicial service commission announces procedure for hiring Willy Mutunga's successor

By Luke Anami | May 11th 2016
Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi

Kenyans will know their next chief justice in October should the process of recruiting go as planned.

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) while announcing the procedure for the recruitment of the next chief justice, clarified that the position would be open to serving and non-serving members of the Judiciary who may be drawn from the bar, bench, academia or corporate fields.

In a statement released yesterday by the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi, JSC said the position would be advertised as soon as the position falls vacant next month and the public would participate in the process of identifying the man or woman to succeed Willy Mutunga.

“The commission wishes to announce that the retirement of the chief justice will be in June, 2016. The retirement will occasion a vacancy in the office of the chief justice and JSC will immediately initiate the recruitment process,” Ms Amadi said.

She said JSC had deliberated on the matter and prepared a comprehensive plan on the successful management of this process.


“JSC anticipates that the recruitment process shall take about four months given the statutory timelines guiding the process and expects the new chief justice to be in office in October, 2016.”

The move follows a decision by Dr Mutunga to retire early — by June, 16, 2016 — and in his own words to allow the next CJ ample time to settle in the office before next year’s election.

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Mutunga’s term is scheduled to expire on June 22, 2017, having taken up the job in June 2011. But the CJ opted to retire early citing the need to take the transformation process across East Africa.

JSC will now commence the recruitment process to fill in the position by formally declaring in the Kenya Gazette a vacancy in the Office of the Chief Justice. The position will then be advertised for qualified and interested candidates to apply.

“The JSC will then constitute a selection panel as required by law as well as shortlist persons for nomination by the commission in accordance with the First Schedule of the JSC Act,” Amadi said.

She said JSC would be strictly guided by constitutional principles and best practices and shall be fair and just.

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