Kenya’s President Uhuru Assents to Martha Koome as Chief Justice

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday communicated to the House, Justice Koome’s nomination for CJ and President of the Supreme Court.

The National Assembly commenced the vetting and approval for the nomination of Martha Koome as Kenya’s next Chief Justice.

Kenyatta presented the certificate of presidential nomination, the judge’s CV, testimonials and recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission on the recruitment and selection process for the Chief Justice.

The law provides that the President shall appoint the Chief Justice and deputy chief justice in accordance with the JSC recommendations and subject to the endorsement of the National Assembly.

While addressing members on Wednesday, Speaker Justin Muturi said “The president therefore seeks the approval of the National Assembly on the said nomination”

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He then directed the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee chaired by Kangema MP Muturi Kigano to conduct the vetting and report its findings to the House within 28 days.

Muturi asked the committee to immediately notify the nominee and the general public of the date and place of the approval hearings.

“The committee should thereafter commence the necessary approval hearings and submit a report on or before May 25 for debate and decision by the House.”

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Muturi added that although the committee has 28 days to provide a report, it should consider the nomination on a priority basis.

Beating nine other applicants to the Chief Justice post, Koome was unveiled by the JSC on Tuesday as the first woman CJ after vigorous interviews.

61 year Koome  was born in Meru county and is well known in the civil society movement as a fierce defender of the rights of women and children. She was first appointed a High Court judge in 2003.

Koome has a Master of Laws in Public International Law from the University of London (2010), a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Nairobi (1986) and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law.

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Judges, prominent lawyers in private practice and law scholars sought to take over from Justice David Maraga who retired in December last year.

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