Chief Justice Martha Koome has called for a bottom-up approach in the delivery of justice, saying it is the only way the judiciary can serve Kenyans effectively in an accountable manner.
Speaking in Mombasa during the second Annual Tribunals’ Symposium, the CJ said the system will ensure most cases are dealt with at the lower courts to reduce backlog.
She further pointed out that the bottom-up approach will ensure that the creation and adoption of an innovative Case Management System respond to the needs of Kenyans and does not cause unnecesary delay.
“What I envisage is shared responsibility by all the Magistrates, Kadhi’s Courts, Tribunals, Superior courts all the way to the Apex Court. So that the experience a litigant should have before the Supreme Court should be the same across the board in all the courts and tribunals,” Koome said.
She revealed that the Judiciary is mulling the introduction of after-hours court sessions to accelerate cases.
“We hope to see innovations in time, which will include sitting even after hours between 5.00pm and 8.00pm. Some of the impediments we are talking about is why a court cannot sit, especially now with technology, between 5.00pm and 9.00pm, ” she said.
She further reiterated the role played by the small claims courts in the dispensation of cases which she says will ensure Kenyans are served well.
“Opening of more small claims courts will help reduce the distance that litigants travel to access justice and provides an expeditious procedure that a matter is finalized within 60 days. No court should stay in a trial beyond three years and an appellate court should take one year for an appeal,” she added.
The Small Claims Courts are subordinate in the structure of the court system in Kenya under Article 169 (1) of the Constitution with a monetary jurisdiction of matters not exceeding Sh1 million.
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