Koome to be sworn in at State House as Kenya’s new CJ

Lady Justice Martha Koome will take her oath of office at State House tomorrow (Friday) before proceeding to her new office at Supreme Court.

According to a dispatch from the Judiciary, she will be received by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), the Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi, Supreme Court Judges and the Judiciary Leaders Advisory Council (JLAC).

Mwilu has been the acting CJ since David Maraga retired on January 12, 2021. The former court of appeal judge will be the 15th Chief Justice of Kenya and the third under the 2010 constitution. She will also go down the annals of history as the first woman to head the Judiciary.

A full in-tray awaits Koome who assumes office in the wake of a scathing verdict on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) whose fate is in limbo. Her immediate task will be to appoint a bench that will hear the BBI appeal.

The Attorney General, the BBI Secretariat have already filed an application at the Court of Appeal seeking to dismiss the ruling that halted the constitution review process.

Instruments of Power

The National Assembly by the majority of Wednesday approved the appointment of Justice Martha as Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya.

This follows the approval of her nomination by the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) during a special house sitting gazetted by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi.

Meanwhile, on Monday the Judiciary will host an assumption of office ceremony to hand over Instruments of Power to the new Chief Justice.

Justice Koome, who has 33 years of experience in legal practice, joins the growing league of powerful women in top Judiciary positions. She has spent a significant portion of those years in public service as a defender of human rights.

She has earned international accolades for tremendous contribution to the expansion of the rule of law and defence of the vulnerable.

She is an acclaimed expert in family law and takes a keen interest in children’s affairs. She was named the UN Person of the Year runner-up in 2020 for these efforts.

  

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