Judicial officers to be transferred after three years

By: MAZERA NDURYA

Judicial officers will not serve in one station for more than three years according to a new transfer policy aimed at streamlining operations at the judiciary.

The new policy also sets out special arrangements for judges and magistrates working in extreme hardship areas.

The Judiciary also launched another policy for Court of Appeal judges different from other judicial officers.

The document, which was launched by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, observes that judicial officers who serve for too long in one station will become too familiar with the community in the area including lawyers, litigants, police, prosecutors and other members of the public.

“Such familiarity may compromise the judicial officer’s impartiality with certain litigants and other court users,” the policy observes.

Judicial officers, according to the policy, refer to judges of environment, employment, commercial and High Court, magistrates, Kadhi and deputy registrars appointed by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

But the policy gives special arrangement for officials working in designated extreme hardship stations where the tenure shall be two years.

The policy also gives room for special cases where the Chief Justice may retain a judicial officer in one station but not for more than five years.

In the Court of Appeal, each station outside Nairobi will have a minimum of four judges where gender parity will be taken in to consideration.

According to the Court of Appeal transfer policy, all judges, except the President of the Court will serve in an outside station on a rotation basis after every two years.

“Rotation will give every judge an opportunity to serve in all the court stations and exposure to a range of diverse matters,” notes the policy.

The new transfer policy was among four documents that the Judiciary rolled out to enhance service delivery.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION