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Isaac Rutenberg Disqualified From Deputy Chief Justice (DCJ) Interview In Kenya For Lack Of 15-Years Experience In Law

The Judicial Service Commission stopped an interview on Thursday with a DCJ candidate who they said lacked legal experience.

Isaac Rutenberg told the panel that he had not practised law for at least 15 years, as required by law for one to be a deputy Chief Justice.

But Rutenberg said he had only served as a lawyer for five years, compelling the panel to disqualify him.

“We would not like to continue with this interview because you do not qualify. We thank you for coming,” Margaret Kobia, the chairperson of the panel, said.

During the interview, Rutenberg said he had not been admitted to the bar in Kenya but teaches at a law school in the country.

“I have an outstanding command of the law of Kenya in areas I specialised in, whereas there are others where I am weaker,” he said.

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Rutenberg pursued his Law degree at the University of Santa Clara, US and received dual Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Mathematics.

He primarily focuses on practical aspects of intellectual property.

On Wednesday, a candidate who is a Court of Appeal judge said delays in issuing judgment breeds corruption.

Wanjiru Karanja said litigants tend to compromise magistrates and judges, when they hold onto rulings and judgments for long.


Those who faced the Judicial Service Commission panel include judges Lydia Achode, Martha Koome, Pamela Tutui, Roselyne Nambuye and Wanjiru Karanja

Surinder Kapila, David Waihiga, Judith Mulama are yet to face JSC. Interviews for the Supreme Court judge will follow.


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