Two out of the eight judges who have applied for the post of Chief Justice are women as are ten out of the 12 applicants for the Deputy Chief Justice's post. This is the highest number of women to apply for top posts in the Judiciary.
Justice Mary Ang'awa and Justice Kalpana Rawal are the two women out to replace Justice Evan Gicheru whose term ended in February. The Court of Appeal judges Riaga Omolo, Samuel Bosire, Joseph Nyamu and Alnashir Visram and the High Court justices Paul Kihara Kariuki and Mbogholi Msagha have applied for the top job.
Lee Muthoga, who is a judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), and former High Court Judge Edward Torgbor also want to be CJ.
The Judiciary Service Commission acting chair Prof Christine Mango said that although Torgbor was a Ghanaian national, he has been practising law in Kenya for many years and had already applied for naturalisation.
Other lawyers interested in the CJ slot include Dr Willy Mutunga, the Ford Foundation regional representative in charge of all grant making in the Eastern Africa region.
Mutunga was formerly the executive director of the Kenya Human Rights Commission and co-chair of the Citizens Coalition for Constitutional Change. Timothy Isaac Azania Bryant, in private practice, has also applied for the job. Ang'awa has also applied for the Deputy CJ post which has attracted majority of the women applicants.
These include four High Court judges — Roselyne Nambuye, Mary Kasango, Hannah Okwengu and Martha Koome; lawyers Nancy Baraza, Gladys Shollei, Pamela Tutui, Lucy Kambuni and Scholastica Omondi who is also a judge of the Interim Dispute Resolution Court. Only two High Court male judges — Nicholas Ombija and William Ouko — have applied for the Deputy CJ's post.
Prof Mango said the JSC was unable to do the short-listing of the candidates yesterday and this will take place on Monday while interviews will be conducted in the first week of May.
Among the requirements for consideration to either of the two posts is that the candidate has at least 15 years' experience as a distinguished academic, judicial officer or legal practitioner or 15 years experience as a superior court judge.
The appointment of the CJ stalled after President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga failed to agree on the President's nomination of Appellate judge Visram as Gicheru's replacement.
The JSC was mandated to conduct the recruitment of the CJ and the Deputy CJ and will recommend names of the suitable candidates to Parliament for vetting and then the names will be presented to the President for appointment.