Commission opposes Lenaola’s nomination as Supreme Court judge

The National Gender and Equality Commission wants the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to rescind its decision on the appointment of Isaac Lenaola as a Supreme Court judge saying it contravened the two thirds gender rule.

In a statement, Chairperson Winfred Lichuma says with Lenaola on the bench, the two thirds rule will not be adhered to as the composition translates to a 28.6 percent in favour of the female gender against 71.4 percent for the male gender which is unconstitutional.

She indicated that should the JSC not take appropriate measures to comply with the law, the Commission will urge the National Assembly to reject Justice Lenaola’s nomination.

“We are dismayed that the Judicial Service Commission despite our advise on the compliance with the not more than two thirds gender principle as far as the composition of the Supreme Court bench is concerned failed to adhere to Constitution and has contravened the law by nominating a man as Judge of the Supreme Court,” she said.

She stated that Article 27(8), a provision in the Bill of Rights, provides that the State shall take legislative and other measures to implement the not more than two-thirds principle of the members of elective or appointive bodies.

“We hereby urge the Judicial Service Commission to rescind it’s decision and take appropriate measures to comply with the law failure to which we are left to urge the National Assembly to reject Hon. Isaac Lenaola’s nomination as judge of the Supreme Court,” she said.

Justice Lenaola was yesterday proposed for appointment as judge of the Supreme Court by the Judicial Service Commission to replace Justice Philip Tunoi who retired in June.

His name will be forwarded to the Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs before it is presented before Parliament and then to the President for formal appointment.

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