Milimani law courts building Nairobi where Anti-corruption court are based.
BY SAM ALFAN.
The Judicial Service Commission has recruited 31 new magistrates who are expected to start work in less than a month.
Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi today said that the new team includes five Chief Magistrates and 26 Senior Resident Magistrates.
Amadialso said that letters of offer have already been sent to the successful applicants who were interviewed last year, after the Judiciary advertised to fill sixty six vacancies with only 31 having qualified for the appointments.
The Registrar decried the acute shortage of magistrates despite the new recruitment saying that although the number of magistrates has risen from 316 in 2010 to 443 in 2016, 55 magistrates have left magistracy in the last three years.
“The reasons for the fall in numbers are related to the decisions of the Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board (JMVB), promotions to judgeship, interdictions, dismissals, resignations and deaths” said Amadi.
She said that although the current establishment in the Judiciary has 443 magistrates, 31 of those are unable to exercise judicial functions for factors related to pending appeals against JMVB decisions, while nine are on interdiction.
This brings to 40 the total number of magistrates who are still in the establishment but are unable to serve.
However Amadi said the Judiciary’s proposal is to increase the number of magistrates to at least 550, to be distributed among 116 court stations in all counties, under the estimate that there is one magistrate to 100,000 Kenyans at present.
She added that the new posting will ease and address the issue of caseloads, while the transfers of judicial officers is to ensure there is minimum disruption of court operations.