Editor's Review

Having been in two presidential petitions, Fred Ngatia said he has taken note of one concern, which he's vowed to change in he becomes CJ. 

Renowned Kenyan lawyer Senior Counsel Fred Ngatia on Tuesday appeared before the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) for his interview for the position of Chief Justice.

During the interview, the Senior Counsel was questioned on a series of issues including his leadership skills, why he thinks he’s best suited for the job, and his judicial philosophy among others.

One of the key issues that came out during the interview was Ngatia’s thoughts on presidential petitions, having represented President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2013 and 2017 petitions filed by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Responding to the question, Ngatia noted that he was concerned by a trend where judges failed to read detailed rulings in regard to presidential petitions citing limited time.

According to Ngatia, a ruling does not need to be too long for it to be reasoned. He undertook to change this if he becomes Kenya’s next Chief Justice.

“The problem with that (one paragraph ruling) is that I do not know for certainty why the decision went the way it did. I think the middle group is this… You do not need a PhD or a Masters as a judgment in any case.

“If given the opportunity as a Chief Justice I would endeavor to my utmost to have a reasoned judgment within the 14 days,” Ngatia said.