The search for Kenya’s new chief justice has reached a crucial point: an intensive fortnight of candidate interviews by the judicial service commission. But the battle over the future of the jurist leading the search, Kenya’s acting chief justice, Philomena Mwilu, is continuing in parallel. Most recently, the high court judge set to hear a petition that Justice Mwilu be removed as acting CJ and deputy CJ among other positions, because of graft allegations against her, has announced he will recuse himself.
The question of when judges should recuse themselves from hearing certain cases continues to be one of the most hotly-debated judicial issues in the region. The latest decision by Patrick Otieno, a member of Kenya’s high court bench, will add fuel to these flames. The judge has recused himself from hearing a petition seeking orders barring the second most senior jurist in the country from continuing in office,