Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, Chief Justice and Member of the Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board of Kenya, left Accra at the week-end for Nairobi, Kenya, to participate in interview sessions for vetting of Judges of the Court of Appeal of Kenya.

The interview sessions will be preceded by pre-vetting activities which will include the swearing-in of two foreign judges, Justices Albie Sachs of South Africa and Fred Chomba from Namibia.

The nomination of the two foreign Judges by President Mwai Kibaki has been approved by the National Assembly of Kenya.

Justice Sachs was a Judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa, who was appointed by President Nelson Mandela in 1994 and retired in October 2009.

A statement issued in Accra by Mrs Grace A. Tagoe, Director of Communications at the Judicial Service said Mrs Justice Wood was in August last year nominated by President Mwai Kibaki as one of the three distinguished non-Kenyan Superior Court Judges in the Commonwealth to the membership of the Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board of that country. Her nomination was subsequently considered and approved by the Kenya National Assembly.

The function of the Board is to vet Judges and Magistrates in accordance with the Values and Principles set out in Articles 10 and 159 of the Kenyan Constitution.

Powers of the Board are provided for under section 14 of the Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Act.

Following the promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya on August 27, 2010, section 23 of the Sixth Schedule thereof mandated Parliament to enact legislation providing for mechanisms and procedures for vetting the suitability of all serving Judges and Magistrates, to continue in office.

Consequently, Parliament enacted the Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Act No. 2 of 2011. Section 7 (b) of the said Act provides that the Board shall consist of nine members, comprising the chairperson, a vice chairperson and seven other members, of whom six shall be citizens and three non-citizens who must be serving or retired Judges, each of whom has served as a Chief Justice or Judge of a Superior Court in the Commonwealth.