How Chief Justice David Maraga Could Be Removed from Office

  • Chief Justice David Maraga has faced all sorts of criticism after the Supreme Court's decision to nullify the August Presidential election.

    The heat went a notch higher on Thursday when Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu filed a petition before the Judicial Service Commission seeking Justice Maraga's removal.

    According to Article 168 of the Kenyan Constitution, a judge of a superior court may be removed from office only on grounds of:

    (a) inability to perform the functions of office arising from mental or physical incapacity;

    (b) a breach of a code of conduct prescribed for judges of the superior courts by an Act of Parliament;

    (c) bankruptcy;

    (d) incompetence;

    (e) gross misconduct or misbehaviour

    The Constitution also notes that the ouster of the Chief Justice may be initiated only by the Judicial Service Commission acting on its own motion or on the petition of any person to the JSC.

    The petition has to be in writing, as Ngunjiri has done, and it should clearly spell out the alleged facts constituting the grounds for the judge's removal.

    If the JSC is satisfied that the petition discloses a ground for removal, it will then forward the petition to the President who within 14 days after receiving the petition, may suspend the judge from office and, acting in accordance with the recommendation of the JSC.

    Once the CJ is suspended, the President shall then proceed to appoint a tribunal consisting of;

    (a) the Speaker of the National Assembly, as chairperson;

    (b) three superior court judges from common-law jurisdictions;

    (c) one advocate of 15 years standing; 

    (d) two other persons with experience in public affairs

    The tribunal shall look into the matter expeditiously and will report on the facts and make binding recommendations to the President.

    If the CJ feels aggrieved by a decision of the tribunal, he may appeal against the decision to the Supreme Court within 10 days after the tribunal makes its recommendations. 

    The President shall then act in accordance with the recommendations made by the tribunal and Parliament will enact legislation providing for the procedure of a tribunal appointed under this Article.

    Read Also: Jubilee MP Files Petition to Remove Chief Justice David Maraga

     

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