Functions of the Commission
The functions of the Judicial Service Commission are outlined in Articles 172, 252 and 253 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010
i. Judges and judicial officers, other than their remuneration; and
ii. The staff of the Judiciary;
2. Appointing, receiving complaints against, investigating and removing from office or otherwise disciplining registrars, magistrates, other judicial officers and other staff of the Judiciary, in the manner prescribed by an Act of Parliament;
3. Preparing and implementing programmes for the continuing education and training of judges and judicial officers;
4. Advising the national government on improving the efficiency of the administration of justice.
Articles 252 and 253 of the Constitution outlines the general functions and powers of Commissions and Independent Offices including JSC.
In the performance of its functions, the Commission is guided by the following principles:-
i. Competitiveness and transparent processes of appointment of judicial officers and other staff of the judiciary; and
ii. The promotion of gender equality.
The primary legislation operationalizing the constitution with regard to the functions of JSC is the Judicial Service Act, 2011.
Powers of the JSC under Section 13 of the Judicial Service Act, 2011 include:-
i) Purchase or otherwise acquire, hold, charge and dispose of movable or immovable property
ii) Borrow and lend money.
iii) Enter into contracts.
iv) Do or perform all such other things or acts necessary for the proper performance of its functions under the Constitution and the Judicial Service act, 2011 which may be lawfully done or performed by a body corporate.
Under Section 29 of the Judicial Service Act, the Commission shall review the financial estimates prepared by the Chief registrar of the Judiciary before the same are presented to national assembly each financial year.
Under Section 34 of the Judicial Service Act, the Commission shall provide Secretarial services to the National Council for the Administration of Justice.
Membership of the Judicial Service Commission is outlined in Article 171(1) of the Constitution of Kenya. Current members are as indicated here below.
1. Hon. Justice Mr. David K. Maraga, EGH; Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya – Chairman.
2. Hon. Mercy M. Deche; LSK representative– Vice Chair
3. Hon. Ms. Emily Ominde, Chief Magistrate; Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association representative – Member
4. LSK representative – Member
5. Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association representative – Member
6. Hon. Lady Justice Philomena Mbete Mwilu, Deputy Chief Justice; Supreme Court representative – Member
7. Hon. Justice Mohamed Warsame Judge of Appeal- Court of Appeal representative- Member
8. Hon. Mr. Partrick G. Gichohi, Public Service Commission representative – Member
9. Hon. Prof. Olive Mwihaki Mugenda; Public representative- Member
10. Hon. Mr. Felix Kiptarus; Public representative- Member
11. Hon. P. Kihara Kariuki, AG – Member
The Secretary to the Judicial Service Commission
Mrs. Anne A. Amadi – Chief Registrar of the Judiciary /Secretary
The Judicial Service Commission has established Committees pursuant to Section 14 Part III of the Judicial Service Act to assist the Commission in executing its mandate.
The Commission currently has five (5) standing committees, as follows:
i) Human Resource Management Committee
ii) Finance, Planning and Administration Committee
iii) Committee on Administration of Justice
iv) Learning and Development Committee
v) Audit, Governance and Risk Management Committee.
The Commission also appoints adhoc committees on need basis, which will have specific terms of reference and a defined timeline.
Establishment of the Commission
The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is a part-time constitutional commission established under Article 171 of the Constitution and its membership comprise of:
- The Chief Justice who is the Chairperson
- One Supreme Court judge;
- One Court of Appeal judge
- One High Court judge
- One Magistrate
- The Attorney General
- Two advocates (one woman and one man);
- One person nominated by the Public Service Commission;
- One woman and one man to represent the public, not being lawyers, appointed by the President with the approval of the National Assembly.