Hon. Justice Isaac Lenaola is an alumni of the University of Nairobi and the Kenya School of Law degree.
After admission to the bar, he practiced law in Nairobi specializing in Commercial Law and Land Law and served as a Commissioner both at the Peoples Commission of Kenya (PCK) and at the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission (CKRC). He also served as a member of the Tribunal Investigating the conduct of Puisne Judges.
He joined the judicial service in 2003 and worked as Resident Judge in Embu, Meru, Machakos and Kakamega High Courts. As a High Court Judge, Hon. Lenaola also served as a Commissioner at the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) where he also served as Chairman, Human Resource and Administration Committee (HRAC). He was previously a Member of the Board, Judicial Training Institute (JTI) and Chairman and member of various Judiciary Committees as well as Chairman of the Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association (KMJA) and Treasurer of the East African Magistrates and Judges Association (EAMJA).
Until his appointment as Judge of the Supreme Court, Judge Lenaola was the Presiding Judge of the Constitutional and Human Rights Division at the High Court in Milimani, Nairobi where he rendered illuminating and ground breaking decisions on human rights, devolution, separation of powers among other areas of jurisprudence. In all the stations he served outside Nairobi, he is reputed for diligence, hard work and has on many occasions been cited as an example in the best of case management and backlog clearance.
Justice Lenaola has served as Judge and Deputy Principal Judge of the Court of First Instance of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) from 2011 to 2018 and as a Judge at the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone (RSCL) from 2013 to-date.
He is President of the Advisory Council of the Strathmore Institute for Advanced Studies in International Criminal Justice (SIASIC) and President of the International Association of Refugee and Migration Judges (IARMJ). He is a Fellow of McLaughlin College, York University, Toronto, Canada and Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb). He is also Chairman of the Judicial Action Group (JAG) and a member of the Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association, (CMJA), the Accountability Panel of the Wildlife Justice Commission (WJC) and also the African Judges and Jurists Forum (AJJF).
He was awarded the Law Society of Kenya award for distinguished service in the Administration of Justice (2008), the East African Law Society honorary membership award for exemplary service and the development of jurisprudence in Kenya and the East African Region (2015) as well as distinguished service awards in the service of the International Association of Refugee and Migration Judges (IARMJ) (2014 and 2018). He is also a recipient of the Moran of the Burning Spear (MBS) from the President of the Republic of Kenya for distinguished service in the administration of justice in Kenya and the East African Region. He has also been named Jurist of the Year by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)—Kenya Chapter (2019).