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Why new Chief Justice reverted to old judicial attire

Newly sworn in Chief Justice David Maraga captured the eye of the public for his eloquence and personal decorum during the vetting of candidates for the position.

On Wednesday, during the swearing in ceremony, Justice Maraga caught the attention of Kenyans yet again with his garb.

Justice Maraga took the oath of office wearing a red robe and a white powdered wig unlike his predecessor Dr Willy Mutunga who wore a suit with no wig to his swearing in ceremony back in 2011.

The former Chief Justice, who was roundly criticized for the stud earring that he wears, would actually do away with the red colored robes and introduced the green robes during his tenure as the CJ.

Former Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga in his judicial attire. PHOTO | DAILY NATION
Former Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga in his judicial attire. PHOTO | DAILY NATION


In an article titled Relationship Between Judicial Attire, published on the Law Society of Kenya’s webpage, the incoming Chief Justice explained why he reverted to the old judicial attire.

“The most common and powerful historical theme of judicial attire changes is the desire to distinguish a new reign from a prior one. New governments often make drastic changes to attempt to show they are unlike their predecessors they replaced, He wrote in the article.

Maybe the “old days fashion” style could be an expression of the CJ who is a staunch Seventh Day Adventist, as he tries to map out his legacy.

The 64 year old Maraga is the country’s 14th Chief Justice and will only serve one term at the helm of the judiciary.