TUESDAY, Nairobi, September 3, 2019. The High Court is targeting to hear and determine over 2,900 cases in courts stations with the highest backlog across the country during a service week.
This is in a bid to reduce case-backlog from the system and ensure that all Kenyans access justice in a timely manner.
The Court will hear, determine and dispose of 2, 922 cases in 15 High Court stations from September 2 to 13, 2019.
Judges in consultation with various stakeholders resolved to utilize the current August vacation to hear cases in the targeted Courts and Divisions of the High Court with the heaviest workload across the country.
The stations are Bungoma, Kerugoya, Meru, Mombasa, Kakamega, Malindi, Kiambu, Eldoret, Makueni, Murang’a and Nakuru High Courts. The exercise will also involve, the Judicial Review Division, Civil Division, Commercial and Tax and the Family Divisions of Nairobi at Milimani.
The service week is a multi-agency collaboration that will see all players in the justice chain work together to achieve the desired results. Under the banner of the National Council of Administration of Justice (NCAJ), all the agencies in the criminal justice chain have committed to work together.
During the exercise, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) will provide State Counsels to prosecute Criminal Appeals, while the Prisons Department will ensure that inmates are brought to court on schedule. The Probation Department will be expected to ensure that probation reports are prepared in time.
The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) which is a key partner in the administration of justice have registered support for the week.
During the service week, there will be audio recording of the proceedings in all the six court rooms of the Commercial and Tax Division of the High Court in Nairobi. This is the first time Judiciary is recording proceedings during service weeks.
The Service Week has since been successfully used as a strategy to reduce case backlog. Other interventions that the Judiciary has used include increasing the number of Judges and entrenching Performance Management and Measurement. These have led to a reduction of backlog in the High Court from 162,772 to the current 91,427 cases reported in the Performance Management and Measurement Understanding (PMMU) 2017/2018 report. The Case Clearance Rate for the High Court has consistently increased from 69 per cent in 2012 to the current 149 per cent.
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