Court revokes hiring freeze at the Judiciary

by Wakili Liam
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Hammer

Court of Appeal has stayed the execution delivered by the High Court on June 3, 2022 temporarily suspending the process of hiring new judges to the same court.

This means that the Judicial Service Commission is now free to recruit new judges.

This follows an order issued by the Appeals Court Thursday morning staying the execution of the ruling delivered by the High Court on June 3, 2022 temporarily suspending the process.

Katiba Institute had sued Chief Justice Martha Koome and JSC seeking to stop the recruitment of new judges until the six judges whom President Uhuru Kenyatta refused to confirm had been appointed.

But JSC through the Judiciary Registrar Ms Anne Amadi rushed to the Appellate Court saying the move will compromise the commission’s constitutional mandate.

She told the court that the recruitment was “aimed at realizing the citizens’ constitutional right of

access to justice, a fact which had been impeded by shortage of Judges.”

She further averred that the number sought to be recruited would assist the Judiciary in tackling the expected avalanche of election petitions which are around the corner.

Even though Katiba Institute wanted the process of recruitment stopped until the six judges in question are appointed into office, Ms Amadi reiterated that the six will not be prejudiced as their positions have not been advertised.

Having heard submissions from both sides, the Court of Appeal concurred with JSC and ruled that the CJ Koome-led body had demonstrated that “it is in the public interest that the recruitment process of the much needed Judges proceed uninterrupted” pending the hearing and determination of the petition before the High Court.

“If the appeal herein is unsuccessful or if ultimately the recruitment process is impugned by the final Court with requisite jurisdiction, then as held in the Tolphin case (supra), the situation is reversible. We might also add that the 1st and 5th respondents have failed to demonstrate what prejudice they stand to suffer if the recruitment process proceeds as intended. We find merit in this application and we allow it with no order as to costs in view of its public interest nature.” the court of appeal judges ruled.


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