If the decision goes against the judge, it is a moot point whether he would appeal to the Court of Appeal and thereafter if he loses in the Court of Appeal to even the Supreme Court. All these pose intricate and mind-boggling scenarios, including whether the judge can sit when the appeal process is ongoing.And now comes a more certain fact. In December 2015, the present holder of the office of the Deputy Chief Justice will have reached the age of 70 years and must by constitutional law retire (unless she also attempts or opts, despite having sworn to respect the 2010 Constitution, to elongate her stay up to the age of 74 years on whatever grounds, merited or not).So the bottom line is that on all probabilities, the country must have a Deputy Chief Justice in December 2015 and if one is not appointed, there will be a vacancy in the Supreme Court.There are and must be cases where the Deputy Chief Justice is sitting in ongoing cases, which lawyers are in the habit of calling “part-heard”.First, in the ensuing six months, the President of the Court of Appeal, indeed the whole bench of the Supreme Court, must contrive to complete and finish all cases in which the Deputy Chief Justice is presently a member of the Supreme Court bench.And make no mistake – the time to do so is now. If the issue is not addressed, there is a possibility of a looming crisis where these part-heard matters will need to be reheard denovo (from the start), for the law does not allow a matter to continue with four or six judges!
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