News

CJ Koome launches first alternative justice centre in Africa in Nakuru

Tuesday, June 4th, 2024 21:39 | By
Chief Justice Martha Koome opens the first alternative justice centre in Africa at the Imani Mall in Nakuru County on Tuesday, June 4, 2024. PHOTO/@KenyaJudiciary/X
Chief Justice Martha Koome opens the first alternative justice centre in Africa at the Imani Mall in Nakuru County on Tuesday, June 4, 2024. PHOTO/@KenyaJudiciary/X

Chief Justice Martha Koome on Tuesday, June 4, 2024, launched the first alternative justice centre in Africa at the Imani Mall in Nakuru County.

This alternative justice centre is the first of its kind in Africa and aims to reduce the backlog of pending court cases in the judiciary.

The alternative justice systems envisage a state where the administration of justice is done by the people using their beliefs, customary practices, culture and customs to resolve disputes.

The justice system is considered a more participatory, inclusive and inexpensive form of justice in societies.

The alternative justice systems are also considered more expeditious compared to traditional court processes.

This justice system uses alternative dispute resolution techniques such as mediation, arbitration, conciliation, expert determination and mini-trials.

The cost of justice

In March 2024, the Judiciary noted that some 520,000 cases were pending in magistrate and high courts across the country.

Notably, the volume of cases increased by over 200,000 between November 2022 and November 2023.

Chief Justice Martha Koome at the Alternative Justice Centre in Nakuru. PHOTO/@Kenyajudiciary/X

The majority of the backlog was in the magistrate courts at 276,678 cases, followed by the High Court at 76,208 cases. The least number of pending cases was in the Supreme Court with 20 cases.

Of the over 500,000 case backlog, 86,854 cases have been in the court system for over three years.

As the cases drag on for years, witnesses and suspects die, judges move to new stations or retire and lawyers move on.

Delayed hearings and determination of cases not only delay justice for the aggrieved parties but also mean higher spending on legal costs.  

Lawyers usually charge fees based on, among other things, the number of appearances made in the court on behalf of clients.

Another major reason for delays is the unwillingness of some witnesses to testify, difficulties in translation of witness testimonies into the official court language, which is English, and some lawyers playing small games of seeking adjournments.

The Judiciary has been running an ambitious project to clear a backlog of cases from court amid public outcry for faster administration of justice.

A key target of the programme dubbed Sustaining Judiciary Transformation (SJT) is to finalise cases that have been in court for more than five years.

For these and more credible stories, join our revamped Telegram and WhatsApp channels.

Telegram: https://t.me/peopledailydigital 

WhatsApp: https://whatsapp.com/channel/0029Va698juDOQIToHyu1p2z

More on News


ADVERTISEMENT

RECOMMENDED STORIES News


ADVERTISEMENT