Arrangement of Sections
PART I – PRELIMINARY
PART II – ESTABLISHMENT, MEMBERSHIP, FUNCTIONS AND POWERS OF THE JUDGES AND MAGISTRATES VETTING BOARD
PART III – VETTING PROCEDURES
PART IV – GENERAL
THE VETTING OF JUDGES AND MAGISTRATES BILL, 2011
ARRANGEMENT OF CLAUSES
1— Short title.
3— Object and purpose of the Act.
PART II— ESTABLISHMENT, COMPOSITION, FUNCTIONS
AND POWERS OF THE VETTING OF JUDGES AND
6—Establishment of the Board.
7—Membership of the Board.
8—Qualifications for appointment.
9—Procedure for appointment of members.
10—Election of deputy-chairperson.
11—Functions of chairperson.
12—Tenure and vacancy of office of chairperson and members.
13—Functions of the Board.
14—Powers of the Board.
15— Joint secretaries and secretariat.
16— Assisting counsel and staff.
PART III —VETTING PROCEDURES
20—Order of priority.
The Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill, 2011 2
25—Voluntary retirement and terminal benefits.
26—Allowances for members.
28 —Funds of the Board.
29—Accounts and audit.
30—Protection from personal liability.
31—Oaths or affirmation of office.
32—Disclosure of personal interest.
33—Conflict of interest.
34—Inherent powers of the Board.
SCHEDULE—OATH/AFFIRMATION OF THE OFFICE OF
The Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill, 2011 3
A Bill for
AN ACT of Parliament to provide for the vetting of
judges and magistrates pursuant to section 23 of
the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution; to
provide for the establishment, powers and
functions of the Judges and Magistrates Vetting
Board, and for connected purposes
ENACTED by the Parliament of Kenya, as follows—
1. This Act may be cited as the Vetting of Judges and
Magistrates Act, 2011.
2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
“Board” means the Judges and Magistrates Vetting
Board established by section 6;
“chairperson” means the chairperson of the Board
appointed under section 9;
“deputy chairperson” means the deputy chairperson of
the Board elected under section 10;
“effective date” means the 27th August, 2010;
“joint secretary” means a joint secretary of the Board
appointed under section 15;
“judge or magistrate” means a judge or magistrate to
whom this Act applies in accordance with section 3, and
includes the Registrar of the High Court and the Chief
Court Administrator and their deputies, and persons
seconded to administrative tribunals, in their capacity as
“member” means a member of the Board appointed
under section 9, and includes the chairperson and the
The Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill, 2011 4
“Minister” means the Minister for the time being
responsible for matters relating to the Judiciary;
“vetting” means the process by which the suitability of a
serving judge or magistrate to continue serving in the
Judiciary is determined in accordance with this Act.
Object and purpose of
3. The object and purpose of this Act is to establish
mechanisms and procedures for the vetting of judges and
magistrates pursuant to the requirements of section 23 of
the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution.
4. For the avoidance of doubt, the provisions of this
Act shall apply only to persons who were serving as
judges or magistrates and who were in office on or before
the effective date.
5. In the exercise of its powers or the performance of
its functions under this Act, the Board shall at all times, be
guided by the principles and standards of judicial
independence, natural justice and international best
PART II—ESTABLISHMENT, MEMBERSHIP,
FUNCTIONS AND POWERS OF THE JUDGES
AND MAGISTRATES VETTING BOARD
Establishment of the
6. (1)There is established an independent board to be
known as the Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board.
(2) The Board shall be a body corporate with
perpetual succession and a common seal and shall, in its
corporate name, be capable of -(a) suing and being sued;
(b) taking, purchasing or otherwise acquiring,
holding, charging or disposing of movable
and immovable property; and
(c) doing or performing all such other things or
acts for the proper discharge of its functions
The Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill, 2011 5
under the Constitution and this Act as may
be lawfully done or performed by a body
(3) The provisions of the State Corporations Act shall
not apply to the Board.
Membership of the
7. The Board shall consist of nine members,
comprising a chairperson, a deputy chairperson and seven
other members, of whom -(a) six shall be citizens of Kenya appointed in
accordance with section 9(1) to (12) and of
whom three shall be lawyers; and
(b) three shall be non-citizens of Kenya
appointed in accordance with section 9(13).
8. (1) A person shall be qualified for appointment as a
member if such person-(a) holds a degree from a university recognised in
(b) has at least fifteen years’ distinguished postqualification experience in their field of study;
(c) satisfies the requirements of Chapter Six of the
(2) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as
the chairperson or deputy chairperson unless such person
has at least twenty years’ or an aggregate of twenty years’
experience as a judge of a superior court, a distinguished
legal academic, a judicial officer or other relevant legal
practice in the public or the private sector in Kenya.
(3) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a
member if such person—
The Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill, 2011 6
(a) is a member of—
(i) Parliament; or
(ii) a local authority; or
(iii) the executive organ of a political party; or
(b) was serving as a judge or magistrate in Kenya
on the effective date.
9.(1) The President, in consultation with the Prime
Minister and with the approval of the National Assembly,
shall appoint the nine members of the Board in accordance
with the procedure set out in this section.
(2) Within seven days of the commencement of this
Act, the President, in consultation with the Prime Minister
shall, by notice in the Gazette, declare the vacancies in the
Board under section 7(a) and call for applications.
(3) An application in respect of a vacancy declared
under subsection (2) shall be forwarded to the Public
Service Commission within fourteen days of the
publication of the notice and may be made by -(a) any qualified person; or
(b) any person, organization or group of persons
proposing the nomination of any qualified
(4) The names of all applicants under subsection (3)
shall be published in the Gazette.
(5) The Public Service Commission shall, within seven
days of the expiry of the period prescribed under
subsection (3), convene a selection Committee comprising
one representative each of the—
(a) Cabinet Office;
The Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill, 2011 7
(b) Office of the Prime Minister;
(c) Ministry for the time being responsible for
matters relating to the Judiciary;
(d) office of the Attorney-General;
(e) Ministry for the time being responsible for
matters relating to the public service;
(f) Public Service Commission;
(g) Judicial Service Commission, not being a
serving judge or magistrate; and
(h) Law Society of Kenya,
for the purpose of considering the applications,
interviewing and selecting at least three candidates
qualified for appointment as chairperson and eighteen
candidates, of whom at least six shall be lawyers, qualified
for appointment as members.
(6) The Public Service Commission shall, within seven
days of the selection of candidates under subsection (5),
forward the names of the selected candidates to the
President and the Prime Minister for nomination.
(7) The President, in consultation with the Prime
Minister shall, within seven days of receipt of the names
of the selected candidates under subsection (6), nominate a
chairperson and five other persons for appointment as
members of the Board and forward the names to the
(8) The National Assembly shall, within fourteen days
of the receipt of the nominees under subsection (7),
consider all the nominations received and may approve or
reject any nomination.
(9) Where the National Assembly –
The Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill, 2011 8
(a) approves the nominees, the Speaker shall,
within three days of the approval, forward the
names of the approved nominees to the
President for appointment;
(b) rejects any nomination, the Speaker shall,
within three days of the rejection,
communicate the decision to the President,
who in consultation with the Prime Minister,
shall submit a fresh nominee from amongst
the candidates selected and forwarded by the
Public Service Commission under subsection
(10) If the National Assembly rejects all or any
subsequent nominee submitted by the President for
approval under subsection (9), the provisions of
subsections (1) to (8) shall, with necessary modifications,
(11) The President shall, within seven days of the
receipt of the approved nominees from the National
Assembly, by notice in the Gazette, appoint the
chairperson and members approved by the National
(12) In selecting, nominating, approving or appointing
the chairperson and members of the Board, the selection
Committee, the National Assembly, the President and the
Prime Minister shall ensure that the Board reflects the
regional and ethnic diversity of the people of Kenya and
not more than two-thirds of the members are of the same
(13) The President, in consultation with the Prime
Minister and subject to the approval of the National
Assembly shall, in respect of the vacancies in the Board
under section 7(b), appoint three distinguished non-citizen
serving or retired judges, each of whom has served as a
Chief Justice or judge of a superior court in the
The Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill, 2011 9
Commonwealth, to be members of the Board.
(14) Nothing under this section shall be construed as
precluding the President, in consultation with the Prime
Minister, from nominating and forwarding names, other
than those submitted by the Public Service Commission, to
the National Assembly for consideration and approval.
Election of deputy
10.(1) The chairperson shall, within seven days of the
appointment of the members, convene the first meeting of
the Board at which the members shall elect the deputy
chairperson of the Board from amongst their number.
(2) The chairperson and the deputy chairperson shall
be of opposite gender.
11.(1) The chairperson shall—
(a) preside over all meetings of the Board;
(b) be the spokesperson of the Board; and
(c) supervise and direct the work of the Board.
(2) In the absence of the chairperson, the deputy
chairperson shall perform the functions of the chairperson
under subsection (1).
Tenure and vacancy
of office of
12. (1) The term of office of the chairperson or a
member shall be from the date of appointment and shall,
unless the office falls vacant earlier owing to any reason
specified in the Constitution or in subsection (2), terminate
on the dissolution of the Board.
(2) The office of the chairperson or a member shall
become vacant if the holder—
(b) by a notice in writing addressed to the
President, resigns from office;
(c) is removed from office under subsection
The Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill, 2011 10
(d) is convicted of an offence and sentenced to
imprisonment for a term of six months or
more, without the option of a fine;
(e) is unable to discharge the functions of his
office by reason of physical or mental
(f) is absent from three consecutive meetings
of the Board without good cause; or
(g) is adjudged bankrupt.
(3) The chairperson or a member may be removed from
office for misbehaviour or misconduct incompatible with
the functions of the Board.
(4) The President shall notify every resignation, vacancy
or removal from office in the Gazette within seven days
(5) Where a vacancy occurs in the membership of the
Board under this section, the President shall nominate a
member for approval by the National Assembly in
accordance with section 9.
(6) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (5), the
President may, for the purposes of filling a vacancy, select
a nominee from the list of candidates forwarded by the
Public Service Commission under section 9(6).
(7) A member appointed to fill a vacancy under this
section shall serve for the unexpired term of the member in
respect of whom the vacancy arose.
Function of the
13. The function of the Board shall be to vet judges and
magistrates in accordance with the provisions of the
Constitution and this Act.
The Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill, 2011 11
Powers of the
14.(1) Subject to section 18, the Board shall have all the
powers necessary for the execution of its functions under
the Constitution and this Act, and without prejudice to the
generality of the foregoing, the Board shall have the power
(a) gather relevant information, including
requisition of reports, records, documents or
any information from any source, including
governmental authorities, and to compel the
production of such information as and when
(b) interview any individual, group or members
of organizations or institutions and, at the
Board’s discretion, to conduct such
(c) hold inquiries for the purposes of
performing its functions under this Act.
(2) In the performance of its function, the Board—
(a) may inform itself in such manner as it
(b) may receive on oath, written or oral
(c) shall not be bound by strict rules of
(d) shall not be subject to the direction or
control of any person or authority.
Joint secretaries and
15.(1) There shall be a secretariat of the Board which
shall be headed by two joint secretaries appointed in
accordance with this section, of whom one shall be a
The Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill, 2011 12
(2) The two joint secretaries shall be of opposite
gender and shall be competitively recruited by Board.
(3) No person shall be qualified for appointment as a
joint secretary unless such person -(a) holds at least a degree from a university
recognised in Kenya;
(b) has at least ten years’ post-qualification
(c) has demonstrated competence in the
performance of administrative duties for
not less than five years; and
(d) was not serving as a judge or magistrate on
the effective date.
(4) The joint secretaries shall be the administrators of
the secretariat and shall serve on a full-time basis.
(5) The joint secretaries shall, among others things, be
responsible to the chairperson for—
(a) the day to day administration of the affairs of
(b) the co-ordination of the Board’s studies,
reviews, research and evaluations;
(c) the recording of the Board’s proceedings;
(d) providing the Board with accurate
information on the status of facilities and
services required for the proper conduct of
the vetting process;
The Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill, 2011 13
(e) securing the maintenance and provision of
facilities and services required for the
discharge of the Board’s functions;
(f) providing the Board with accurate records
and information regarding the judges and
magistrates undergoing vetting;
(g) maintaining accurate records on financial
matters and resource use;
(h) ensuring the drawing up and approval of the
(i) the custody of all records and documents of
the Board; and
(j) performing any other duties as may be
assigned by the Board from time to time.
(5) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution or any
other written law, the Board may delegate such of its
functions as are necessary for the day-to-day management
of its processes.
16.(1) The staff of the Board shall comprise -(a) such number of assisting counsel and staff as
the Board may appoint to assist it in the
discharge of its functions under the
Constitution and this Act; and
(b) such public officers as may, upon the request
of the Board, be seconded to the Board.
(2) A public officer who is seconded to the Board
under subsection (1) shall, during the secondment, be
deemed to be an officer of the Board and subject to its
direction and control.
The Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill, 2011 14
PART III—VETTING PROCEDURES
17.(1) The chairperson may, in order to ensure
expeditious disposal of matters, constitute three panels
comprising three members each, which shall work
(2) The chairperson shall ensure that each panel
constituted under subsection (1) consists of at least a noncitizen serving or retired judge, a lawyer and a non-lawyer.
18.(1) The Board shall, in determining the suitability
of a judge or magistrate, consider—
(a) whether the judge or magistrate meets the
constitutional criteria for appointment as a
judge of the superior courts or as a
(b) the past work record of the judge or
magistrate, including prior judicial
pronouncements, competence and diligence;
(c) any pending or concluded criminal cases
before a court of law against the judge or
(d) any recommendations for prosecution of the
judge or magistrate by the Attorney-General
or the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission;
(e) pending complaints from any person or body,
including the -(i) Law Society of Kenya;
(ii) Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission;
(iii) Disciplinary Committee;
(iv) Advocates Complaints Commission;
The Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill, 2011 15
(vi) Public Complaints Standing
(vii) Kenya National Human Rights and
(viii) National Security Intelligence
(ix) Police; or
(x) Judicial Service Commission.
(2) In considering the matters set out in subsection
(1)(a) and (b), the Board shall take into account the
following -(a) professional competence, the elements of which
shall include –
(i) intellectual capacity;
(ii) legal judgment;
(iv) substantive and procedural knowledge of
(v) organizational and administrative skills;
(vi) the ability to work well with a variety of
(b) written and oral communication skills, the elements
of which shall include—
(i) the ability to communicate orally and in
(ii) the ability to discuss factual and legal
issues in clear, logical and accurate legal
The Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill, 2011 16
(iii) effectiveness in communicating orally in a
way that will readily be understood and
respected by people from all walks of life;
(c) integrity, the elements of which shall include –
(i) a demonstrable consistent history of
honesty and high moral character in
professional and personal life;
(ii) respect for professional duties, arising
under the codes of professional and judicial
(iii) ability to understand the need to maintain
propriety and the appearance of propriety;
(d) fairness, the elements of which shall include –
(i) a demonstrable ability to be impartial to all
persons and commitment to equal justice
under the law; and
(ii) open-mindedness and capacity to decide
issues according to the law, even when the
law conflicts with personal views;
(e) temperament, the elements of which shall include –
(i) demonstrable possession of compassion
(ii) history of courtesy and civility in dealing
(iii) ability to maintain composure under stress;
(iv) ability to control anger and maintain
calmness and order;
(f) good judgment, including common sense, elements
of which shall include a sound balance between
abstract knowledge and practical reality and in
particular, demonstrable ability to make prompt
The Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill, 2011 17
decisions that resolve difficult problems in a way
that makes practical sense within the constraints of
any applicable rules or governing principles;
(g) legal and life experience, the elements of which
shall include –
(i) the amount and breadth of legal experience
and the suitability of that experience for the
position, including trial and other
courtroom experience and administrative
(ii) broader qualities reflected in life
experiences, such as the diversity of
personal and educational history, exposure
to persons of different ethnic and cultural
backgrounds, and demonstrable interests in
areas outside the legal field; and
(h) demonstrable commitment to public and
community service, the elements of which shall
include the extent to which a judge or magistrate
has demonstrated a commitment to the community
generally and to improving access to the justice
system in particular.
19.(1) The Board shall consider information gathered
in the course of personal interviews with the affected
judges and magistrates as well as their records.
(2) All information obtained by the Board during
personal interviews and records of the judge or magistrate
being vetted shall be confidential.
(3) Every judge or magistrate to be vetted shall be
given sufficient notice.
(4) The notice referred to under subsection (3) shall
include a summary of complaints, if any, against the judge
The Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill, 2011 18
(5) The hearing by the Board shall not be conducted in
public, unless the concerned judge or magistrate requests a
(6) The rules of natural justice shall apply to the
(7) A judge or magistrate who submits to vetting
shall be entitled, at their own cost, to legal representation.
Order of priority.
20. The first judges and magistrates to be vetted shall
be the Court of Appeal Judges, followed by Judges of the
High Court, the Registrar of the High Court, the Chief
Court Administrator, Chief Magistrates and others
magistrates, in that order.
21. Upon finding, on the face of record, that a serving
judge or magistrate should be removed, they shall be
required to immediately proceed on compulsory leave.
22.(1) The Board shall, in writing, inform the
concerned judge or magistrate of the final determination,
including the reasons for the determination.
(2) Once informed of the decision under subsection
(1), the judge or magistrate shall, subject to section 23, be
deemed to have been removed from service.
(3) The decision to remove a judge or magistrate
from service shall be made public.
23.(1) A judge or magistrate who has undergone the
vetting process and is dissatisfied with the determination of
the Board may request for a review by the same panel
within seven days of being informed of the final
determination under section 22(1).
(2) The Board shall not grant a request for review under
this section unless the request is based—
The Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill, 2011 19
(a) on the discovery of a new and important matter
which was not within the knowledge of, or
could not be produced by the judge or
magistrate at the time the determination or
finding sought to be reviewed was made,
provided that such lack of knowledge on the
part of the judge or magistrate was not due to
lack of due diligence; or
(b) on some mistake or error apparent on the face
of the record.
(3) The decision by the Board under this section shall
24.(1) The vetting process once commenced shall not
exceed a period of one year, save that the National
Assembly may, on the request of the Board, extend the
period for not more than one year.
(2) Subject to subsection (1) -(a) the vetting of the Judges of the Court
of Appeal and the High Court shall be
finalised within three months;
(b) the vetting of magistrates shall be
finalised within six months; and
(c) all the requests for reviews granted
under section 23 shall be considered
after the vetting of all judges and
magistrates under paragraphs (a) and
(b) and shall be finalised within one
(3) Before the commencement of the period of one year
specified in subsection (1), the Board shall have a
preparatory period of two months during which it shall
The Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill, 2011 20
undertake all tasks necessary to ensure that it is able to
work effectively from the commencement of its operations.
(4) The Board shall stand dissolved within thirty days
of the execution of its mandate upon which this Act shall
(5) During the period prescribed in subsection (4), the
Board shall ensure that its affairs are wound up in an
orderly manner and, in particular, shall ensure that -(a) those aspects of its work that will be of value
to other institutions are preserved,
documented and transferred to the relevant
(b) its files and records are preserved and
transferred to the Kenya National Archives
and Documentation Service.
and terminal benefits.
25.(1) A judge or magistrate shall, within three
months of the commencement of this Act, elect -(a) whether to be subjected to the vetting process;
(b) to leave the judicial service voluntarily.
(2) A judge or magistrate who elects to leave the
judicial service voluntarily or is found unsuitable after
vetting shall be entitled to terminal benefits for early
(3) For the avoidance of doubt, a judge or magistrate
who voluntarily leaves service or is found unsuitable after
vetting shall be deemed qualified for early retirement.
26. The Board shall pay to its members such
allowances for expenses as may be determined by the
Minister in charge of finance, in consultation with the
committee of the National Assembly designated for that
The Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill, 2011 21
27.(1) The financial year of the Board shall be the
period of twelve months ending on the 30th June in each
(2) At least three months before the commencement of
each financial year, the Board shall cause estimates of the
expenditure of the Board for that year to be prepared and
submitted to the Minister who shall present them for
consideration and approval by the National Assembly.
(3) The annual estimates shall make provision for all
the estimated expenditure of the Board for that year.
Funds of the Board.
28.(1) The expenses incurred by the Board in
accordance with this Act shall be charged on and issued out
of the Consolidated Fund without further appropriation
than this Act.
(2) Without prejudice to subsection (1), there may be
made to the Board grants, gifts, donations or bequests
towards the achievement of the objects of the vetting
process specified in section 3.
(3) The Board shall not accept any grant, gift,
donation or bequest made on any condition that the Board
performs any function or discharges any duty or obligation
other than duties under this Act.
Accounts and audit.
29.(1) The Board shall cause to be kept proper books
and records of accounts of its income, expenditure, assets
No.12 of 2003.
(2) The annual accounts of the Board shall be prepared,
audited and reported upon in accordance with the Public
Audit Act, 2003.
30.(1) No matter or thing done by a member of the
Board, or any officer, employee or agent of the Board shall,
if the matter or thing is done in good faith for executing the
The Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill, 2011 22
functions, powers or duties of the Board, render the
member, officer, employee or agent personally liable to any
action claim or demand whatsoever.
(2) The provisions of subsection (1) shall not relieve
the Board of liability to pay compensation for damage to
any person for any personal or proprietary interest
sustained by the person as a result of the exercise of any
power conferred by this Act or by the failure, whether
wholly or partially, of any works.
Oath or affirmation
31. The chairperson, the deputy chairperson, the
members and the joint secretaries shall, before assuming
office, make and subscribe, before the Chief Justice, the
respective oath or affirmation prescribed in the Schedule.
32.(1) A member of the Board who has a direct or
indirect personal interest in a matter being considered or to
be considered by the Board shall, as soon as reasonably
practicable after the relevant facts concerning the matter
have come to their knowledge, disclose the nature of the
interest to the Board.
(2) A disclosure of any such interest in a matter shall
be recorded in the minutes of the meeting of the Board and
the member shall not be present while that matter is being
dealt with by the Board and shall not take part in any
deliberations or vote relating to the matter.
Conflict of interest.
33. A person who serves on the Board as the
chairperson, deputy chairperson, member or joint
secretary shall be precluded from being appointed as a
judge or judicial officer for a period of five years from the
close of the vetting process.
Inherent powers of
34.(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the
Board may regulate its own procedure and make
regulations generally for the better carrying into effect the
provisions of this Act.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection
The Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill, 2011 23
(1), such regulations may provide for among others -(a) the conduct of the Board’s operations and
(b) the manner of receiving and processing
(c) any summary procedure the Board may adopt
under sections 19, 21 and 24; and
(d) the steps that may be taken by the Board
between a preliminary finding and final
(3) The chairperson may issue directions for the just,
efficient and economical determination of proceedings in
relation to the procedures provided for by the regulations
made under subsection (1).
(4) Nothing in this Act shall limit or otherwise affect
the power of the Board conferred by the Constitution or
under this Act, either on its own motion or on the
application of a judge or magistrate, to make such orders as
may be necessary for the ends of justice or to prevent abuse
of the process of the Board.
SCHEDULE (s. 31)
OATH/AFFIRMATION OF THE OFFICE OF
CHAIRPERSON/DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON/ MEMBER/ JOINT
1 …………………………………… having been appointed (the
The Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill, 2011 24
Chairperson/Deputy Chairperson/Member of /Joint Secretary) of the
Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board under the Vetting of Judges and
Magistrates Act, 2011, do solemnly (swear/declare and affirm) that I will
at all times obey, respect and uphold the Constitution of Kenya and all
other laws of the Republic; that I will faithfully and fully, impartially and
to the best of my ability, discharge the trust and perform the functions and
exercise the powers devolving upon me by virtue of this appointment
without fear, favour, bias, affection, ill-will or prejudice.
(SO HELP ME GOD).
Sworn/Declared by the said …………………………………………
Before me this ……………… Day of ………………………………
MEMORANDUM OF OBJECTS AND REASONS
The principal object of this Bill is to provide a comprehensive
mechanism, pursuant to section 23 of the Sixth Schedule to the
Constitution, for the vetting of judges and magistrates who were in office
on the date of the promulgation of the Constitution in order determine
their suitability to continue serving in the judiciary in the new
Part I of the Bill provides for the short title and commencement
date, interpretation of terms used and the scope of application. It also
articulates the purpose of vetting and the principles by which the Board
will be guided in discharging its mandate.
Part II provides for the establishment, composition, appointment,
functions and powers of the Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board.
Clause 6 thereof confers corporate status on the Board in order to secure
its operational autonomy in the execution of its mandate. The Part also
provides for a secretariat, to be set up by the Board, which shall be headed
by two joint secretaries supported by the requisite staff.
Part III provides for the procedural matters relating to the vetting
process itself. Specifically, the requirement that panels of three members
The Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill, 2011 25
each sitting concurrently for expeditious disposal of the cases is provided
for. This Part also defines the relevant considerations and elements of the
rules of natural justice that the Board will have regard to. The order of
processing and issues of preliminary and final determination are also
addressed. In order to ensure that the ends of justice are served, the Part
also gives an internal mechanism for review of decisions of a panel
where the Judge or Magistrate whose matter is under review is not
satisfied with initial findings.
Part IV sets out the general provisions which include the
timeframe for the vetting process and the requirement that terminal
benefits be paid to those who elect to retire voluntarily or are found
unsuitable after the vetting. This Part also addresses issues of funds to
cater for the expenses of the Board protection from personal liability, and
disclosure of personal interest by members, matters of conflict of interest
where certain persons are excluded from future judicial appointments and
finally the inherent powers of the Board.
The enactment of this Bill shall occasion additional expenditure of
public funds which shall be provided for through the estimates.
Dated the 27th January, 2011.
Minister for Justice, National Cohesion
and Constitutional Affairs.