The process of recruiting the next Chief Justice is expected to kick off today once the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) declares a vacancy.
Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi says once the vacancy has been declared, it will be published in the Kenya Gazette to pave the way for interested candidates to apply.
“We have already laid in place the procedures and rules on how the candidates would be shortlisted, interviewed, marks scored and how the eventual decision on who would be appointed the next Chief Justice would be settled on,” Amadi told the People Daily last evening.
Amadi says after the advertisement, interested persons will be given 21 days to apply before JSC scrutinises applications after 28 days and thereafter, subjects them to public scrutiny.
“Should any member of the public raise any negative or shortcoming issue about any of the applicant, the individual mentioned would be given an opportunity to defend him/herself over the allegations,” she said.
Thereafter, JSC would shortlist and invite those successful in the first phase for interviews.
The name of the successful candidate would then be forwarded to the President for appointment subject to the approval of the National Assembly.
“Following publication of the notice, the search for a candidate and the recruitment process and its attendant timelines will be governed and conducted in accordance with all the relevant provisions of the Constitution and the law,” the commission had said in a statement issued on Friday.
Yesterday, lobbying for the position intensified within the Judiciary, legal fraternity and political circles as names of judicial and non-judicial officers were mentioned as the most likely to succeed the former office holder David Maraga.
So far, those most mentioned include acting Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, Supreme Court judges Njoki Ndung’u, Mohamed Ibrahim, Smoking Wanjala, Isaac Lenaola and Court of Appeal Presiding Judge William Ouko.
Others are former Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Philip Murgor, Attorney General Kihara Kariuki and his predecessor Prof Githu Muigai, law scholar Prof Makau Mutua, Nairobi lawyer Ahmednassir Abdullahi, among others.