PROFILE: Meet Martha Koome who is set to be Kenya’s first female Chief Justice
The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on Tuesday nominated Court of Appeal Judge Lady Justice Martha Koome for appointment as the country’s next Chief Justice.
Justice Koome’s name has since been forwarded to President Uhuru Kenyatta for appointment to replace retired CJ David Maraga.
If appointed, she will become Kenya’s first female Chief Justice, but just what exactly has Lady Justice Martha Koome’s journey been like?
Justice Koome pursued her law degree at the University of Nairobi where she graduated in 1986 before proceeding to the Kenya School of Law the following year.
She set up her private legal practice in 1988, then later joined the Judiciary in 2003 and practiced across various stations all over the country, during which time she also served as a council member of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK).
She proceeded to the University of London where she completed her Master’s degree (LL.M) in Public International Law in 2010.
In 2011, she was elevated to the Court of Appeal and, in September that same year, she was elected the Chairperson of the Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association.
Lady Justice Koome has, throughout her over three-decade career, distinguished herself as a champion for the rights of women and the welfare of children.
She at one time served as the Chairperson of the National Council on the Administration of Justice special taskforce on children matters where she helped steer the review of the Children’s Act.
These, among her other efforts on the welfare of children, last year earned her a nod as the runner-up for the 2020 UN in Kenya Person of the Year.
During an interview with the Business Daily on the feat, Justice Koome said:
“Children have no voice, so I choose to speak for them because I recognise they are our bridge to the future and unless we nurture them, our future will be precarious. I recognise that children are vulnerable due to their age.
I also recognise when they are in conflict with the law or they are victims of offences, it is because of failure of a system. The society, family or community have failed them. That makes children victims.”
Dr Amado Philip de Andrés, the UNODC Regional Representative for Eastern Africa, presented her with a Certificate of Commendation at the UN Office in Nairobi.
Lady Justice Koome is a mother of three.