Hon. Justice William Ouko.
Hon. Justice William Ouko, CBS, SCJ
Hon. Justice Ouko has a wealth of experience in judicial and administrative service spanning over 34 years. He holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree (LL. B) from the University of Nairobi, a Diploma in Legal Practice from the Kenya School of Law and a Master of Arts degree in Criminology & Criminal Justice (MACJ).
He joined the judicial service in 1987 as District Magistrate II (Professional) rising to become a Deputy Registrar of the High Court in 1989. Later in 1997, he was promoted to serve as the first Chief Court Administrator of the Judiciary.
Subsequently, Hon. Justice Ouko was promoted to become the Registrar of the High Court and Accounting Officer for the Judiciary in 2002. During this period, Justice Ouko served as Secretary to the Judicial Service Commission and Secretary to the National Council for Law Reporting (NCLR). In 2003 he was appointed as a Joint Secretary in the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Goldenberg Affair.
Justice Ouko was appointed as a Judge of the High Court in 2004 and served in Malindi, Meru and Nakuru High Courts. He was appointed as a Court of Appeal Judge, in 2012 and on 9th March, 2018 he was elected by his colleagues as the President of the Court of Appeal where he served until 11th of June 2021.
On the 5th of May 2021, the Judicial Service Commission nominated the Hon. Justice Ouko for a seat at the Supreme Court of Kenya after competitive interviews. On 14th May, 2021, he was appointed to the position by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta. Subsequently, on the 21st of May 2021 Hon. Justice Ouko was sworn in as a Judge of the Supreme Court of Kenya.
Besides serving as a Judge, Hon. Justice Ouko has served as member of the Delinking Committee of the Judiciary and the East African Judicial Education Committee. Justice Ouko has been involved in various reform initiatives as a member of the Government of Kenya Technical Committee on the Implementation of Legal Sector Reform Programme, the Reform and Development Committee of the Judiciary and as Chairperson of the Task Force on Judicial Reforms (2009). The recommendations of this Task Force informed to a large extent the provisions of the Chapter on the Judiciary in the Kenya Constitution 2010.
Justice Ouko has also been involved in other change and reform initiatives as Chairperson of the Sub Committee of the National Council on the Administration of Justice (NCAJ) to monitor the administrative and contingency management plan to mitigate Covid-19 in Kenya’s Justice Sector (2020); Chairperson-Judiciary Transformation Programme Implementation Steering Committee (2011-2012); Chairperson of the Core Organizing Committee for the 3rd Regional Symposium on Greening the Judiciaries in Africa, (initially scheduled for August 2020, in Nairobi, Kenya, but was postponed due to COVID-19) (2020).
Hon. Justice Ouko has been involved in various meetings and speaking engagements both in Kenya and abroad representing the Judiciary. He is a trainer and Mentor for the Kenya Judiciary Academy on various subjects, for Judges and Magistrates. He continues to facilitate the Annual Kenya and Regional and Africa Studies Program for Senior Military and Government Officers, conducted by the National Defence College, Karen, Nairobi.
In the service of humanity and in giving back to society, Justice Ouko is engaged in mentorship engagements for youth in schools and continues to take part in fundraising to assist needy children and mentorship programs as a member of his alma mater the Kagumo Old Boys Association.
In recognition of Justice Ouko’s exemplary and distinguished service to the Nation, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta conferred him with the award of the National Honour of the Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear (EBS) in 2019 and the National Honour of the Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear (CBS) in December 2020.
He is a member of the Law Society of Kenya, Kenya Magistrates & Judges Association (KMJA) and the Commonwealth Magistrates & Judges Association (CMJA).