Editorials

Keep politics out of CJ search

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Chief Justice David Maraga. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

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Summary

  • The search for the next Chief Justice should begin in earnest to allow time for him or her to settle in office and prepare the Judiciary for a potentially challenging period ahead.
  • With political activities already heating up, the 2022 election is shaping up to be a hotly contested affair with the potential of disputes finding their way to the courts.

The search for the next Chief Justice should begin in earnest to allow time for him or her to settle in office and prepare the Judiciary for a potentially challenging period ahead.

With political activities already heating up, the 2022 election is shaping up to be a hotly contested affair with the potential of disputes finding their way to the courts.

Given the frosty relations that have existed between the Judiciary and the Executive after the annulment of the 2017 presidential election by the Supreme Court, it is likely that the political class will be tempted to influence the recruitment of the next CJ, who will also serve as the president of the top court. The Judicial Service Commission therefore needs to ensure that political considerations will not overshadow the selection process and that the independence of the Judiciary is safeguarded.

As the retired CJ David Maraga pointed out in his exit address, for a sustained economic prosperity and political stability, there is need to invest in a strong, independent and fair Judiciary.

While the retired CJ oversaw significant Judiciary reforms, more work needs to be done and it begins with a transparent and objective selection of the next CJ.