Martha Koome

DATE OF BIRTH


1960

GENDER


Female

OCCUPATION


Lawyer, Judge, Chief Justice

FAMILY


Married with three children

BIOGRAPHY


Justice Koome was appointed the Chief Justice in May 21, 2021, becoming the fifteenth Chief Justice of the Republic and first woman to hold the office.

Prior to her appointment, she was a Judge of Appeal having been appointed in 2012 where she served in Nairobi, Nyeri and Malindi.

She also served as a High Court Judge (2003 – 2011).

She was the Managing Partner at Martha Koome & Company Advocates (1993 -2003) and Legal Associate at Mathenge & Muchemi Advocates (1988 – 1992).

She was also the chairperson of the International Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya (FIDA-Kenya).

Judge Koome served as the Chairperson of the National Council on the Administration of Justice special taskforce on children matters which reviewed the Children’s Act.
Justice Koome was admitted to the Roll of Advocates in 1987. In 2012, she became the first judge to opt for public sessions during her scrutiny by the Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board.

Among her controversial decisions in the Judiciary was the 2017 ruling in which the Court of Appeal bench set aside a High Court decision that found the appointment of returning officers for the October 26, 2017 repeat presidential election to be illegal. The other judges in that bench were Fatuma Sichale, and Erastus Githinji.

Still at the Court of Appeal, in 2019 she was part of a five-judge bench that threw out an appeal by the government against High Court’s decision to order for registration of an of LGBT organization.

At the Supreme Court, she dealt with a landmark case involving President Uhuru Kenyatta’s bid to amend the Constitution –Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

In a judgment rendered in March 2022 she rejected the application of the basic structure doctrine in Kenya. She also stated that President cannot initiate a Constitutional amendment process through the popular initiative.

Latest articles on Martha Koome:

  1. Judges: High Court has no power to hear petition on Ahmednasir ban

    Supreme Court judges want a case filed by LSK challenging a ban on the senior counsel from appearing before them dismissed.

    Lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi
  2. PREMIUM CJ Martha Koome under siege

    The President shall, within 14 days of receiving the petition, suspend the CJ from office

    Ruto meets Koome
  3. PREMIUM Ruto’s fury over Court of Appeal shocker on emotive Housing Levy

    Court of Appeal judges ruled that the Housing Levy was discriminatory for targeting a section of Kenyans.

    Ruto in Meru
  4. PREMIUM Secrets of Ruto-Koome State House meeting

    Revealed: What President Ruto did to justify his attacks on the Judiciary.

    Ruto meets Koome
  5. PREMIUM Gaitho: CJ played into Ahmednassir’s hands

    Those so thin-skinned that they cannot withstand scrutiny, whether fair or foul, do not deserve to occupy high office.

    Ahmednasir Abdullahi
  6. Ruto, CJ Koome declare war on graft

    The leaders have committed to fight the vice which they admit has “permeated the three arms of government.

    President William Ruto CJ Martha Koome and Speaker Moses Wetang'ula
  7. Ruto tells off Raila in fallout over CJ Koome talks

    Chief Justice has proposed talks with the President following his attacks on the judiciary.

    William Ruto
  8. LSK warns Chief Justice Koome against talks with Ruto

    Ruto on Tuesday said he is ready to hold talks with Judiciary officials to address corruption concerns.

    LSK President Eric Theuri
  9. Ruto: I am ready for talks with CJ Koome

    He said the talks should involve himself, CJ Martha Koome and the speakers of the National Assembly and Senate.

    President William Ruto and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua
  10. Raila warns CJ Koome not to meet Ruto on judiciary

    He urged the judiciary to stand firm and uphold the law without favouring any party in the discharge of their duties.

  11. CJ Koome: We're on the precipice of a Constitutional crisis

    CJ says threats against Judiciary from the Executive are "a monumental assault to the Constitution".

  12. CJ Koome to Ruto: Where is the evidence of judiciary corruption?

    President Ruto has on several occasions accused unnamed people of using corrupt judges to block projects.

    Martha Koome
  13. PREMIUM Why the judiciary is on trial, again

    Ruto's comments on the judiciary have raised questions about a creeping dictatorship.

    President William Ruto and Chief Justice Martha Koome.
  14. PREMIUM Tracing origins of Executive war on the Kenyan courts

    Some wonder why the allegations of corruption are coming soon after the Ruto government lost key cases.

  15. Nine Kenyans listed among 100 most influential African women

    First Daughter Charlene Ruto among those recognised as working to inspire the continent.

  16. 2023: When Kenya prioritised SGBV cases

    Country rolled out red carpet for survivors, setting gold standard for management of such cases

    New Content Item (3)
  17. Why judge wants children to attend chiefs’ barazas

    Justice Matheka: When young ones are ignorant of their rights they can’t report abuse to authorities.

  18. Meet five young changemakers in the GBV war

    Youthful online activists rally for change in hospitals, Judiciary and Police units

  19. The path to effective legislation on gender equality

    Lawmaking should be thorough to ensure inclusivity and compliance with ratified treaties.

  20. PREMIUM Day DP Gachagua took his own oath

    In a wide-ranging interview, outgoing Chief Registrar of the Judiciary talks about the debacle while swearing in Gachagua and why she wants to face her gold scam accusers in court.