Prof. Makau Mutua files petition to stop Chief Justice recruitment process


Kenyan law scholar Prof. Makau Mutua has filed a petition seeking to have the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) stopped from forwarding names of the nominees of the Chief Justice position to the President.

In the petition filed together with Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Katiba Institute, Prof. Mutua says he was among those who applied for the Chief Justice position but was not shortlisted for the interviews and now wants JSC compelled to provide information on the criteria used in selecting the candidates.

Mutua says he wrote to the commission relating to the criteria for valuation for qualification particularly on the criteria used and the marking sheets showing the grading of the applicants as well as the minutes of the commission’s deliberations concerning the same.

“That pending hearing and determination of this petition an injunctive order do and is hereby issued prohibiting the JSC from forwarding the names of the persons nominated for recommendation for appointment to the position of chief justice and judge of the supreme court to the president, unless and until the respondent provides the information sought in the petition,” reads the court documents.

However, in their response to Prof. Mutua, JSC said it will not disclose the information sought by the professor in order to protect the privacy of the applicants.

“The reasons given by the JSC in arriving at its decision were arbitrary and insufficient contrary to Article 47 and constitution,” says Mutua.

He further argues that the refusal by the commission to provide the petitioners with the information sought is an infringement of their rights.

The petitioners argue that the results should be disclosed in order to ensure the decisions reached by the JSC are not influenced by improper considerations and to promote accountability to the public for decision and actions of the commission.

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