Chief Justice nominee to be submitted Friday

Chief Justice nominee to be submitted Friday

The nominee for Chief Justice will be submitted to the President by Friday, September 23 as stipulated by the JSC Act.

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is currently on a retreat in Naivasha, to review the interviews of the twelve candidates that appeared before it, and compile its final report.

But, what exactly are they looking for?

The JSC Act gives the vetting panel seven days upon conclusion of the interviews.

As such, the commissioners are currently retreating in Naivasha to review the interviews.

The candidates for the Chief Justice post will be scored, each commissioner giving their individual score on the candidates’ interview.

A vote will then be taken, and in order for one to be nominated for recommendation for appointment by the President, they will require a minimum of three affirmative votes by the commissioners.

But there are other factors coming to play including how well did the candidates perform during the interviews, where they were taken to task over their academic and professional qualifications, past work, personal lives, and their priority areas should they head the Supreme Court.

The JSC will be guided by a template outlined in the Judicial Service Act.

Article 13, provides seven key areas for consideration.

Elements of professional competence including intellectual capacity, legal judgment, diligence, substantive and procedural knowledge of the law, organizational and administrative skills and the ability to work well with a variety of people.

They will also be looking at written and oral communication skills, integrity, fairness, good judgment including common sense, legal and life experience, as well as demonstrable commitment to public and community.

Article 14, states that each member shall vote according to that member’s personal assessment of the applicant’s qualification.

“For instance, it is not just enough to say a candidate has so many years of experience. This needs further breakdown in terms of the nature of the experience: Is it experience in court or in academia for instance? And if it is in academia, is it in teaching or writing for instance?” said JSC Chair, Prof. Margaret Kobia.  

The commission shall not reconsider its nominees after the names are submitted to the President, except in the case of death, incapacity or withdrawal of a nominee.