Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu has lauded the research and launch of the Justice Needs Survey Report in Kenya terming it as insightful, extremely useful and beneficial to the Judiciary leadership and implementing units which will increasingly be able to base their decisions and strategies on authentic data and well-researched reports and studies.
Speaking during the launch of the report which was authored by the Hague Institute for Institutionalization of Law (Hiil) and supported by the World Bank and the Judiciary Training Institute, the Deputy Chief Justice said the Survey contributes to the growing database of comprehensive and functional research and data on the Judiciary and various aspects of access to justice.
“The Judiciary, through the Performance Management Directorate has produced studies such as the Court User and Employees Satisfaction and Work Environment Survey; the Case Census and Institutional Capacity Survey; and the Performance Management and Measurement Understandings Evaluation Reports that have steadily enhanced our strategy formulation and helped to better target our interventions and initiatives,” said Mwilu.
She added that along with the Judiciary’s increasingly accurate and exhaustive annual reports, (the State of the Judiciary and Administration of Justice (SOJA) reports) the Judiciary has entrenched a culture of purposive data collection, management, and analysis.
“Understandably, our research has often necessarily had a narrower focus, on our internal and external customers and court users. The Judiciary is however acutely alive to the bigger picture of justice provision as is evinced in the Judiciary’s support for and participation in multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral research projects such as the 2016 Audit of the Criminal Justice System in Kenya,” she said.
The Deputy Chief Justice said that the study takes a broader view of justice, is not limited to formal dispute resolution through the courts but adopts a more realistic, sociological approach that appreciates the entire spectrum of justice provision, formal and informal, judicial and administrative, state and societal.
Mwilu urged that the Survey be widely disseminated to all court stations, all judges, judicial officers and judiciary staff saying this is particularly important because, under the SJT, the improvement of service delivery in the Judiciary is a bottom-up process, driven by each unit by strategies and initiatives developed by those units on the basis of each of their particular contexts.
“The study is doubly useful in this regard as it provides not only recommendations, but also, more importantly, a tool through which we can assess and respond to the justice needs of court users and the wider public,” said the Deputy Chief Justice.
Mauritis Barendrecth, Research Director, The Hague Institute for Institutionalization of Law (HiiL), presented the report to the Deputy Chief Justice. Others who made presentations are Dr. Steve Ouma, Deputy Director, Judiciary Training Institute (JTI), Mr. Duncan Okello, Executive Director, National Council on the Administration of Justice (NCAJ), and Ms. Nancy Kanyago, Coordinator, Judiciary Performance Improvement Project (JPIP).