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. Gender journal: Here’s what to watch out for in 2023

    The year 2022 was a period of transition for Kenyans and key development actors made several promises, especially to women

  2. Why Ruto’s commitment gives impetus to FGM fight

    Those championing the campaign have been calling on the President to continue Uhuru's agenda against the harmful practice.

  3. JSC recommends appointment of 20 new High Court judges

    The JSC had advertised for vacant positions of judges of the High Court in March.

    Martha Koome
  4. Makau Mutua: Kenya’s fake democracy Part IV

    I don’t know how the Koome Court can live with itself after that ruling. What will the judges tell posterity?

    Supreme Court judges
  5. Ten Kenyans recognised as Africa's most influential leaders

    The women are at the forefront breaking barriers in their careers, business and life pursuits

  6. Koome swears in Koome

    In his inaugural speech, the new police boss warned robbers and muggers that their days are numbered.

  7. Amin Mohamed gives out his phone number after being sworn in as DCI boss

    Amin Mohamed Ibrahim on Wednesday took the oath of office as the new the Director of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI). The oath ceremony was presided over by Chief Justice Martha...

    amin-dci-1
  8. Campaign against child sex tourism gets boost

    Human rights organisations intensify effort to end exploitation in partnership with officers in the criminal justice chain.

  9. Teen gives birth, blames lack of contraceptives

    Cecilia had made attempts to obtain contraceptives from local public health facilities but she was turned down

  10. ‘Hot air!’ Karua retorts at Supreme Court’s full judgment

    The judges dismissed submissions by lawyer Julie Soweto on Jose Camargo as 'hot air'.

    Karua Koome
  11. We shall defend devolution, CJ pledges

    The Chief Justice spoke during the senators’ induction in Naivasha.

    Chief Justice Martha Koome
  12. Senate induction conference kicks off in Naivasha

    The workshop will include information on key legislative processes

  13. After bruising defeat, Raila re-emerges to face political foes

    Raila's initial silence had left some thinking he was ready to hang up his political boots.

  14. CJ assigns judges to Kidero, Ngirici, other election cases

    Governors facing petitions include Anne Waiguru, Mutula Kilonzo, Dhadho Godhana, Patrick Ntutu and Gideon Mungaro.

    Chief Justice Martha Koome
  15. Women judicial officers now play key role in our democracy

    Chief Justice Martha Koome has become the first woman in Kenya’s history to swear in a president and his deputy.

  16. Three-woman army that ran the show at Ruto's inauguration

    This is the first time the process is being conducted by an all-woman team following the appointment of Ms Koome as CJ in 2021.

    Chief justice Martha Koome, Deputy chief justice Philomena Mwilu and Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi.
  17. Online attacks on Koome call for heightened GBV war

    The Chief Justice has been a victim of sexist trolls following the Supreme Court decision on the presidential election petition.

    Chief Justice Martha Koome
  18. Ruto sworn in as Kenya's fifth president

    The swearing-in process was lead by the Judiciary under CJ Martha Koome.

    william ruto swearing in photo rachel
  19. Orengo faults Supreme Court judgment on election

    Orengo termed the verdict as an embarrassment to those who fought for independence of judiciary in the country.

    Siaya Senator James Orengo.

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