On Wednesday, the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta confirmed the appointment of Lady Justice Martha Koome as the Country’s inaugural female Chief Justice (CJ) by realizing a special Gazette notification.
This appointment marks the first-ever ascension of a female CJ to the judiciary of the country, but that’s not the only historical aspect of it. This also makes the country’s Supreme Court the only top organ of government that is constitutionally compliant with the hitherto elusive gender parity rule.
The CJI Koome holds exceptional expertise in many fields, she is an acclaimed advocate for human rights, with a special focus on women’s and children’s rights. She also works in family disputes advocating for matrimonial property rights,especially for women.
Her endeavors have not gone unnoticed, she has gained many awards and recognitions from various organizations, the most notable being the UN Kenya person of the year 2020 awards where she stood as a runner up.
She has worked for 33 years in the judiciary, out of which she devoted 18 years as the head of the criminal division of the court of appeal immediately before her appointment to the CJ position.
The biggest issue that she will face, will be the two year long stalemate going on between the executive and the judiciary, due to which the executive has refused to swear-in 41 judges of the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
Having been sworn in, the CJ is expected to officially assume office on Monday in a ceremony for handing over the instruments of power.