*Good news to Kenyans after the following emerges from CJ Martha koome’s brief today*
During the opening of the High Court Leaders Conference in Mombasa county, Chief Justice Martha Koome said the the judiciary is ready to implement backlog reduction strategies to support the Social Transformation through Access to Justice Vision.
Koome said that the High Court is central to the realization of the vision of optimal service delivery and enhancing institutional performance that the Judiciary is championing for this despite it operating with a lean staff.
“I tend to think that we are almost operating at 50 per cent of the establishment which means that every judge is doing the work of two judges if not more. Indeed judges are tired of doing the job of two or three judges, we need to recruit more judges,” said Koome.
The social transformation agenda now seeks to tackle the problem of case backlog demands as the judiciary aims to reexamine its practices and re-engineer itself to improve the efficiency of the courts.
“We will embrace court-led active case management, early identification of issues for resolution, promotion of diversion & alternative avenues for dispute resolution shifting from focus on interlocutory applications to merits & the application of a no adjournment policy,” said Koome who further sad, “
Outcomes of this Conference including a firm resolve to reverse the perennial problem of missing files accounting for 16% of the reasons for adjournment,full uptake of ICT,better welfare for Judicial Officers and staff, timely & proper Court returns will be fully implemented,”
Meanwhile, Koome singled out corrupt judicial officers who she said have punctured the image of the judiciary while intentionally dragging out court case by delaying judgments.
Lack of integrity in service delivery was described as the main enemy within the judiciary amidst public outcry.
“When we ask ourselves who is making us not stand together, we always know the enemy is within us… and the enemy within us is the enemy of corruption, the one,my of lack of transparency and accountability, the enemy within us is the one that makes us not deliver our judgement one year after the date to the parties…the enemy within us is the one that brings bribes to the judges and therefore we need to say not to that, ” she said.
Despite the existing challenges in issuing judgments,the judiciary has now set our its bench mark for expedited delivery of justice by ensuring that no court case stays in a trial court for more than three years and no more than one year on appeal.