Hon. Dr. Willy Mutunga, D.jur, SC, EGH
The Hon. Chief Justice, Dr. Willy M. Mutunga, was appointed to the Supreme Court of Kenya on 22nd June, 2011. He is a holder of a Doctorate Degree in Jurisprudence obtained in 1992 from Osgoode Hall law School at York University in Toronto, Canada. His area of study was Contracts. Dr. Mutunga obtained both his Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Master of Laws degrees from the University of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania in 1971 and 1974 respectively.
Dr. Mutunga joined the University of Nairobi as a lecturer in the Faculty of Law in October 1974. While at the University of Nairobi, he served as the secretary-general of the University Staff Union from April 1979 until July 1980 when it was banned. Dr. Mutunga was thereafter detained for 16 months (1982-3) for his activism while at the University of Nairobi and for his work at the Legal Advice Centre (Kituo Cha Sheria).
Dr. Mutunga has established and served in many civil society organizations, among them the Legal Advice Centre (Kituo Cha Sheria); the Law Society of Kenya, where he served as vice-chairman from 1991 to 1993 and chairman from 1993 to 1995; the Council for Legal Education, Kenya; the Citizens Coalition for Constitutional Change (4Cs); the Kenya Human Rights Commission; the East African Centre for Constitutional Development (Kituo Cha Katiba), Uganda; and the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development (Rights and Democracy) in Montreal, Canada.
For his outstanding contribution to the development of law, human rights, good governance and social justice, Dr. Mutunga has received several national and international honours and awards including: Elder of the Golden Heart for his distinguished service to the nation and for his role in leading reforms in the Judiciary under the new Constitution (2012); appointment as Senior Counsel, Government of Kenya (2003); Lifetime Achievement Award for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights from the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, (2003); the Jurist of the Year Award from the International Commission of Jurists, Kenya Section (2003); and the Law Society of Kenya Distinguished Services Award for Constitutionalism, Rule of Law and Human Rights, later named the Father Kaiser Award (1988).
Dr. Mutunga is an avid reader, is fond of Indian movies and documentaries on revolutionaries, and religiously meditates and practices yoga. He wishes he could swim more often.