A petition seeking to bar the Employment and Labour Relations Court Principal Judge Maureen Onyango from being interviewed for the appellate court judges’ job found its way to the Judicial Service commission (JSC) panelists, moments before she was interviewed.
The petition by County Governments’ Workers Union, however, did not halt the process with Onyango and two other judges and an advocate of the High Court being interviewed as well.
The petitioners argued that the judge made erroneous ruling in a case where the union had moved to court challenging the county governments to honour a pay CBA they had agreed with the workers.
Nonetheless the interview proceeded with justice Onyango responding to questions regarding the petition.
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She also promised to ensure that court cases are worked on expeditiously to ensure justice is served.
The interviews continue Wednesday with four other candidates lined up to face the bench.
On Monday, the Judicial Service Commission began the exercise as 22 judges and 13 advocates square out for the slots on offer.
A number of prominent judges such as Aggrey Muchelule and Mumbi Ngugi are among the applicants.
At least 115 candidates had expressed interest in the available positions at the appellate court but only 35 were shortlisted.
The exercise taking place at JSC Secretariat according to the commission is expected to run until 1st of July.
Those who turned up for the closed door interviews on Monday include Justice Weldon Korir, who is the presiding judge of the Constitutional and Labour relations Court and Luka Kimaru, who handles criminal appeals of the High Court at Milimani.
The positions on offer were left vacant following retirements of judges who attained the mandatory retirement age of 70 and promotions of some of the judges to the Supreme Court.
Successful candidates will be posted in Nairobi, Nyeri, Mombasa, Malindi and Kisumu.
The Court of Appeal has an approved limit of 30 judges. It currently has 19.