List of the 5 Chief Justice candidates to face JSC

by Lawyer Wanz
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Judicial Service Commission has resumed the vetting of five remaining candidates shortlisted for the position of Chief Justice today.

Justice Nduma Nderi of the Employment and Labour Relations Court who hails from Embu County will be first on the hot seat. Born in 1962 Justice Nderi was appointed a judge of the Employment and Labour Relations Court in 2012.

He holds a Master of Laws from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Nairobi. Justice Nderi boasts a legal career of 31 years. His professional journey has seen him gain international working experience in Swaziland’s Bar and Bench for a five-year period beginning in 1993 as a Senior Crown Counsel with the Government of Swaziland.

Justice Nderi then served as Judge President of Swaziland’s Employment and Labour Relations Court between 1998 and 2006 after which he returned to Kenya. This saw him head the Legal and Industrial Relations Division at the Federation of Kenya Employers for one year. Justice Nderi’s also holds a Diploma in Human Resources Management in addition to another one the Management of Business Organizations.


Tuesday, April 20, 2021, will see 65-year-old prominent city lawyer Fred Ngatia face the JSC interview panel.

Born in Laikipia County in 1956, Ngatia runs his own private practice; Ngatia & Associates Advocates. With 41 years of experience in law, Ngatia holds two Masters degrees: Master of Applied Philosophy and Ethics from Strathmore University and Master of Laws from London School of Economics from the University of London.

Ngatia is known for among others successfully defending President Uhuru Kenyatta’s disputed win in a presidential petition filed by Raila Odinga in 2013. He was also named among Kenya’s foremost legal minds by the International legal research company, Chambers Global, in 2011.


Current President of the Court of Appeal Justice William Ouko will have his chance to defend his suitability for the position of Chief Justice on Wednesday, April 21, 2021.

Born in Siaya County, 60 years ago, Justice Ouko was elected in 2018 to replace former President of the Court of Appeal Justice Paul Kihara Kariuki, whose term had come to an end and was subsequently appointed the Attorney General.

Justice Ouko who has an aggregate of 33 years experience in the legal profession joined the judicial service in 1987 as a Magistrate rising to become a Deputy Registrar of the High Court in 1989 and later in 1997, he was promoted to serve as the first Chief Court Administrator of the Judiciary. He holds a Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Egerton University and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Nairobi.


Thursday, April 22, 2021, will see Professor Wekesa Moni an associate Professor at Daystar University appearing before the Prof Olive Mugenda led commission to defend his suitability.

Prof Wekesa holds two doctorate degrees; PhD in law from the University of Nairobi and another PHD in sports medicine and rehabilitation from Germany. He has been practising law for the last 16 years.


The last to appear before the JSC panel on Friday, April 23, 2021, is lawyer Alice Yano who was born in 1968 in Elgeyo Marakwet County. Yano served as Elgeyo Marakwet County Attorney between 2013-2014 and holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Nairobi.

Last week, five applicants were interviewed. They included Justice Chitembwe Juma, Professor Patricia Kameri- Mbote, Lady Justice Martha Koome, Justice Marete Njagi and Senior Counsel Philip Murgor.

10 applicants were shortlisted for the Chief Justice Job following the retirement of Justice David Maraga on January 11, 2021. Justice Maraga was the 15th CJ of independent Kenya and the 2nd under the 2010 Constitution. He succeeded Justice Willy Mutunga in October 2016.

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