Kenya Judiciary Academy (KJA), formerly the Judiciary Training Institute (JTI), was established in 2008 to provide judicial education for judges and magistrates. Since then, it has grown into a formidable institution in the Judiciary.
Under the Constitution of Kenya, 2010, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is responsible for preparing and implementing programmes for continuing education and training for judges and other judicial officers.
KJA exercises this delegated mandate, and is therefore responsible for meeting the training, research and capacity development needs of Judiciary staff. It performs this mandate in part through various training programs and seminars, public lectures, research, and other forms of discourses targeting all cadres of Judiciary staff, and where, appropriate, members of the academy and the public at large.
As the Judiciary’s Institute of higher learning, the KJA is leading the Judiciary, in line with Judiciary Transformation Framework, in facilitating the growth of jurisprudence and judicial practice as the lifeblood of our institution. The KJA is the judicial think tank: an institute of global excellence and the nerve centre of rich intellectual exchange. It interfaces between the Judiciary and contemporary developments in society, on the one hand, and learning interaction between the Judiciary and other agencies, on the other. The KJA provides the intellectual anchor in making our courts the hearth and home of a robust and functional jurisprudence that meets the aspirations of Kenyans.
KJA offers induction courses for all newly employed staff to help them transition into a career in the Judiciary.
Continuing Judicial Education (CJE) for Judges & Magistrates
All Judges and Magistrates serving in all courts across the country undergo regular training by the academy. Courses are offered in substantive law, evidence and procedure and, where appropriate, subject expertise; the acquisition and improvement of judicial skills including, where appropriate, leadership and management skills and the social context within which judging occurs.
This training helps to keep them in touch with the community, aware of pressing social issues, and up-to-date with latest developments in the law.
A primary mission of the CJE program is to assist judicial officers in the performance of their duties by enhancing professional expertise, facilitating development of judicial knowledge and skills, including an appreciation of the social context of law, and promoting the pursuit of juristic excellence.
Training for Judiciary Staff
In addition, the academy offers training to different cadres of staff to equip them with skills necessary for the performance of their duties. Recent trainings have been done to customer care staff from all over the country, while a course entitled “Basic Law for Court Assistants and Administrative Assistants (Law 101)” is ongoing.
It spearheads discussions towards the formulation of various policies for internal use within the Judiciary, and for the administration of justice.
Under the JTF, the Judiciary is committed to stakeholder engagement as a means of enhancing effective administration of justice. The academy is the focal point for multi-stakeholder discussion on common concerns in the justice system, such as temporary injunctions, public interest litigation, poaching & environmental crimes management, legal responses to terrorism, human rights, etc.
KJA works closely with several national, regional and international institutions in the delivery of its programs.
KJA partners with local government and non-government bodies to deliver courses on various thematic areas to judicial officers and judiciary staff. These include: The Witness Protection Agency, the Anti-Counterfeit Agency, etc.
At the regional level, KJA is a member of the East Africa Community Judicial Education Committee whose mandate is to foster close cooperation and collaboration in training between the Judiciaries of the member states of the East Africa Community. The academy currently holds the rotational chair of the Committee.
Further, it takes part in activities organized by The Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute, a global NGO which was founded to provide support and linkage among existing Commonwealth judicial education bodies and to encourage the sharing of information, human and fiscal resources inter-nationally and inter-regionally.