Sources in the JSC staff said signs of major changes have been seen since the appointment of Chief Justice David Maraga a few weeks ago.
The promoted magistrates are Samuel Wahome, Julius Kipkosgei, Dr Julie Oseko, Samuel Soita, Charles Okata, John Muniu, Steven Nzisi, Dominica Wakesho, Lawrence Mugambi, Alfred Gethi, Cosmas Mutungwa, Joyce Mkame, Samuel Mokua, William Kipkemei and Godfrey Hillary.
The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has approved the promotion of 166 magistrates.
The decision has resulted in 15 principal magistrates who had been stagnant in that position for years being promoted to chief magistrate.
Some of the magistrates have served for almost 30 years and their pleas to move them up the ladder were not heeded.
More than 35 principal magistrates have been promoted to senior principal magistrates while 24 senior resident magistrates have been made principal magistrates.
The new development has also seen 54 resident magistrates promoted to senior resident magistrates.
A statement signed by Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi also indicated that Hassan Sujyan has been promoted to senior principal kadhi while Mshali Hamisi, Abdallah Juma, Said Hamisi, Dickson Sabastiany and Mohammed Abdala have been made principal kadhis. The JSC also elevated 17 resident kadhis to senior resident kadhis.
Stagnant promotions caused acrimonious debate during the Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association elections early in the year.