The Judiciary Ombudsperson is mandated to enforce administrative justice in the Judiciary by addressing mal-administration through effective complaint handling structures. The office investigates any allegations of misconduct of judicial officers/ staff. It is empowered to receive, consider and process complaints from any litigant who has grievances against the Judiciary of Kenya. It is also mandated to receive complaints by members of the public against judicial officers/staff. It also acts as an internal conflict redress mechanism amongst staff.
In addition thereto, the Ombudsperson has power to conduct investigations on its own initiative in various matters touching on the Court, conduct spot checks on all Court stations. In its workings the office obtains any information from any person or judicial officers/staff and can (via the Chief Justice) compel production of such information. After undertaking its investigation, the OJO prepares a report including the service requested for, the findings of the investigations, the resolutions and recommendations. The OJO’s mandate encompasses the traditional role of the Ombudsman as known in the world over with unique additional responsibilities.
Our slogan: "Sikio la mahakama (The listening ear of the Judiciary)"
Functions of the office of the Ombudsperson include;
Receiving and processing complaints and grievances by the public against employees of the Judiciary.
Receiving and processing compliments and suggestions from the members of the public and employees of the Judiciary.
Handling complaints between individual employees of the Judiciary.
Complaints by the employees against the Judiciary.
To publish quarterly reports on complaints received and action taken.
Appraise the administration on significant trends and recommend changes in policies and procedures.
To be known nationally and internationally as an agency where litigants receive quality services and fair resolution of their complaints.
Be committed to the pursuit of equity and fairness by providing all our clients a safe environment to express concerns, explore options, and make informed decisions.
All communications with those seeking assistance is in strict confidence unless there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm or danger.
Consideration of the interests of all parties involved in a situation impartially to assist the parties in reaching mutually acceptable agreements that are fair, equitable, and consistent with the policies and procedures of the Judiciary.
Independence in organizational structure, function, and appearance to the highest degree possible.
The office of the Ombudsperson works with the office of the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, Chief Registrar of the Judiciary and the Judicial Service Commission in the fulfilment of its mandate and the Judges and Magistrate Vetting Board.
It co-operates with other government agencies such as the Public Service Commission, the Advocates Complaints Commission, the Kenya National Human Rights Commission, the Commission on Administrative Justice and the Law Society of Kenya among others.
The Judiciary Ombudsperson’s office helps to identify potential areas of conflict, wrongdoing, administrative abuse and provides information on individual and customer rights.
The Ombudsperson serves as an organizational ambassador.
Achieving the Mandate
The bulk of the work done by the OJO comes through complaints from the public, which are resolved through correspondence, mediation, investigations and recommendations. In order to ensure timely resolution the OJO via the Honourable Chief Justice launched the Judiciary Service Desk / OTRS. This is an automated grievance redress management system that integrates all internal and external Ombudspersons functions under one information technology infrastructure. The OTRS has all Judiciary departments, stakeholders and court stations integrated seamlessly to allow ease of complaint/ticket handling.
Lodging a Complaint
Visit us at the Supreme Court Building, city hall way, chamber No 22 /23 or call us on (020) 2221221-1655 or 1654
Complaints can be made in writing (either through a letter via address 30041 Nairobi), by phone, in person or by using the online complaint form.
We investigate allegations of misuse of office, unethical conduct, corruption, lost files, maladministration, delayed cases, poor/slow service, cannibalized files, vindictiveness, incompetence, misbehavior, inefficiency associated with courts among others.
Complaints can only be lodged against judicial officers/staff and the judiciary as an Institution.
Complaints Handling Process
Complainant fills in Complaint Form/ sends an email
A unique ticket number is issued
Complaint is assessed for compliance with Mandate.
If within mandate, OJO commences inquiries and complainant is issued with copy of communication
If NOT within OJO mandate, Complainant is advised accordingly and/or referred to appropriate agencies
The ticket is forwarded to concerned liaison person in the court station.
If a response is not received from the respondent as per the service level agreement the ticket escalates.
If a response is availed an external note is sent to complainant.
when the complaint is resolved the ticket is closed.
In resolving the complaint, the OJO may;
Recommend an appropriate remedy;
Recommend disciplinary action against the respondent to the JSC ;
Recommend the removal of the respondent from judicial office;
Write report on its findings and recommendation.
Hon Kennedy Bidali
The Office of the Judiciary Ombudsperson (OJO) was established by the Honourable Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga on August 1, 2011. Mr Kennedy Bidali was appointed on September, 2011 as the first Judiciary Ombudsperson. Bidali is an advocate of the High Court, admitted to the bar in 1999. He was appointed to the bench in the year 2001 as a District Magistrate (DM2). He has risen through the ranks and was appointed Deputy Registrar in Nairobi and Nyeri Courts respectively. In 2011 he was appointed as the Deputy Registrar to serve in the Chief Justice Chambers.