Justice David Maraga nominated New Kenya’s Chief Justice
Justice David Maraga, a staunch Seventh- Day Adventist has been nominated to be the next Chief Justice. His name has been forwarded to the President Uhuru Kenyatta, who will then forward it tp Parliament for approval or rejection.
“The JSC has after lengthy deliberations recommended Hon Mr Justice David Kenani Maraga for appointment as Chief Justice and has submitted the name to His Excellency the President,” a statement from JSC read.
Justice Maraga, the likely Kenya’s next Chief Justice, popularity shot up when he said, during interview, that he would give up his job at the Judiciary if he is forced to work on Saturday, his day of worship.
Justice Maraga said his actions were motivated by his religion and standing in his church, the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA), where he served as a church elder, the second senior-most position in the church after a pastor.
During his vetting by the Judicial Service Commission, he came out as a person with untainted past and a man full of integrity.
Besides he is a judiciary insider unlike former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga whoo had little experience in the Kenyan judiciary.
Justice Maraga was among three Court of Appeal judges who applied for the position of Chief Justice.
Education and Employment background of Justice Maraga
Justice Maraga was first posted to Mombasa, where he worked for four and a half years. In early 2008, he was transferred to Nakuru before shifting back to Nairobi in 2011.
At the High Court in Nairobi, he served at the Constitutional Review Division before becoming the head of the Family Division. In December 2011, he was promoted to the Court of Appeal.
Justice Maraga has served in many capacities in the Judiciary, including the Judiciary Committee on Elections, the tribunal investigating corruption allegations against suspended judge Joseph Mutava and at the Law Society of Kenya’s Continuous Legal Education Seminars.
As chairman of the Judiciary Committee on Elections, a standing committee that oversees the Judiciary’s hearing of election petitions, he was praised for ensuring that most of the matters were heard and determined promptly.
Before his appointment as a judge of the High Court, Justice Maraga was in private practice in Nakuru for 25 years, initially as a partner in the same law firm with lawyer Pravin Bowry.
Justice Maraga received his law degree from the University of Nairobi in 1977 and he is currently pursuing a master’s degree at the same university.
After law school, he worked in private practice in Nakuru until 2003, when he joined the High Court as a judge, a beneficiary of the Narc dream that sought to recruit new names to breathe vigour into the rotten Judiciary.
Key highlights from the JSC interview
During the interview with JSC, Justice Maraga said if he is appointed CJ he would name a senior judge as the Judiciary ombudsman and revive the program for helping the poor with court cases.
He told JSC that he would fast-track the implementation of the Legal Aid Act to ensure that justice is accessible to all.
He said he would also hire investigators to look into complaints against judges and magistrates with a view to helping to restore public confidence in the Judiciary.
He added he would introduce an email address to receive public complaints on the conduct of judges, saying the use of suggestion boxes was outdated and ineffective.