JSC nominates Court of Appeal Judge to succeed Willy Mutunga

JSC nominates Court of Appeal Judge to succeed Willy Mutunga

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has nominated Court of Appeal Judge David Kenani Maraga as the next Chief Justice to succeed Dr Willy Mutunga who retired in June this year.

JSC forwarded Maraga’s name to President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The President will forward the name to Parliament for vetting and subsequent appointment should he be approved.

Justice Maraga was the third applicant to face the vetting panel during the Chief Justice interviews.

The 64-year-old Court of Appeal Judge hails from Nyamira County.


He holds a Bachelor of Laws degree, LL.B, and a Masters of Law, LL.M, from the University of Nairobi.


Before being appointed a Judge, David Kenani Maraga was in active private practice for 25 years covering criminal and civil litigations as well as conveyance.

In October 2003, he was appointed a Judge of the High Court and later a Court of Appeal Judge in 2011.

He chairs the Judiciary Committee on Elections.

In 2012, he successfully underwent the vetting process by the Sharad Rao-led Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board, actively defending himself against accusations of tribalism and bribery.

A staunch Seventh Day Adventist, Justice Maraga invoked God’s name during the vetting board proceedings swearing that he had never taken a bribe in his life.

Highlight rulings

As a High Court Judge, he ruled that the charge against an officer accused of killing Ainamoi MP David Kimutai Too be commuted from murder to manslaughter, handing him a less punitive sentence of 10 years. This ruling put him on the spot as he could not explain to the vetting panel clearly what he based it on.

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