JSC meets Wednesday as judges crisis looms at the top

Chief Justice David Maraga
Chief Justice David Maraga: He is set to retire in January next year. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) will hold a full sitting Wednesday amid a looming crisis at the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal over inadequate number of judges.

The sitting will, however, not discuss the pending retirement of Chief Justice David Maraga, which is expected to draw a lot of interest in the political and legal spheres.

JSC secretary Anne Amadi Tuesday said the meeting will focus on recruitment and interviews of officials of the National Council on the Administration of Justice (NCAJ).

The council is mandated with formulating policies and mobilisation of resources relating to the administration of justice.

Justice Maraga is expected to retire in January 2021 upon the attainment of 70 years, but those close to him say he is contemplating an early exit, possibly by October, like his predecessor Willy Mutunga.


Should Justice Maraga opt to retire early and the ongoing stalemate on appointment of judges persist, the operations of the Supreme Court could be paralysed for lack of quorum.

This is because Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu is no longer sitting as a petition that is challenging her suitability to serve is still pending at the JSC.

Further, Justice Jackton Ojwang is retiring. Last month the judge proceeded for his terminal leave of absence.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has blocked effort by the JSC to fill vacancies after he rejected 41 judges and magistrates picked for promotion.