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Hon. Justice Martha Koome, EGH

The Judiciary > Hon. Justice Martha Koome, EGH

Hon. Justice Martha Koome, EGH

Chief Justice Martha K. Koome, EGH, assumed office on 21st May 2021 as the 15th Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya and 3rd President of the Supreme Court of Kenya. She is the first woman to hold the office of Chief Justice since the Kenyan Judiciary was established more than a century ago.

Prior to her appointment, the Chief Justice served as a senior Judge of Appeal. During her tenure as an Appellate Judge, she oversaw the Criminal Division. She also chaired the Committee which developed the Court of Appeal Practice Directions in Civil and Criminal Appeals introducing novel case management strategies that have championed excellence at the Court. She also chaired the Committee that developed the Court of Appeal Registry Manual that standardized registry operations enhancing customer experience and streamlining records management at the Court.

During her term at the Court of Appeal, she was elected President of the Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association (KMJA) in 2019 and served as an official of East Africa Magistrates and Judges Association (EAMJA).

Chief Justice Koome joined the Judiciary in 2003 as a High Court Judge where she served until 2011. In that period, she was engaged in leadership and administrative roles within the High Court as the Resident Judge of the High Court in Nakuru and Kitale as well as the Head of the Land and Environment Division of the High Court at Nairobi, as it was then referred.

Upon her admission to the roll of advocates in 1987, the Chief Justice served as a legal practitioner for fifteen years curving out a niche in conveyancing, commercial law, civil litigation, criminal litigation, and family law.

She has also been actively engaged in multiple community service projects and promoted children and family matters through volunteer and pro bono services. Chief Justice Koome’s milestones include being a Council Member of the Law of Society of Kenya between 1994 and 1996. She was involved in the formation of the East African Law Society in 1995 and served as the inaugural Treasurer. While at the East African Law Society, Justice Koome participated in negotiations towards the enactment of the East African Community Treaty and institutions of the Community, including, the East African Court of Justice.

In 1997 she was elected Chairperson of the Federation of Women Lawyers Kenya Chapter (FIDA Kenya) and served in that position for two consecutive terms. In 2005 she was appointed member of the African Union Committee on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. In the same year she led the Kenyan delegation to Beijing during the major review of the Beijing Platform for Action.

Chief Justice Koome is celebrated as a revolutionary jurist who participated in the law review process which gave rise to the Constitution of Kenya, 2010. In 2020, the United Nations recognised Justice Koome as an eminent Human and Children’s rights defender following years of dedicated work in pursuit of the rights of women and children. Notably, she chaired the National Council on the Administration of Justice (NCAJ) Committee that reviewed the Children’s Act and established Court User Committees focused on child justice. In appreciation of her decades’ long pioneering work on advocacy and advancement of the rights of children and the marginalised, Justice Koome was voted runner-up for the United Nations Person of The Year (2020).

Chief Justice Koome holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the University of Nairobi, a Post- graduate Diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law and a Master of Laws (LLM) from the University of London.

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