The National Treasury Circular dated 25th September 2017 directed budget reduction on the current budget due to low performance of revenue and emerging priorities namely repeat of the Presidential election, insecurity, drought response measures and Government of Kenya counterpart funds requirement. Consequently, the Judiciary Training Institute (JTI) budget has been revised downwards by about 75%. This has affected most of the activities at the Institute and Judiciary at large. This has led to revision of JTI Training Calendar to downscale trainings. Major activities affected include sponsorship of Judicial officers and staff attending various courses at Kenya School of Government and the Sports Day which usually occurs in the month of May every year. For the 2017/2018 fiscal year, the Annual Sports Day has been removed from the JTI Calendar of events.
CONTINOUS JUDICIAL EDUCATION AND KENYA SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENT (KSG) TRAININGS
One of the mandates of JTI is to conduct Continuous Judicial Education (CJE) for Judges and Judicial Officers. Further, JTI is mandated to prepare and implement training programmes for staff of the Judiciary. During the 2016/17 financial year, various CJE programmes were rolled out for Judges and Judicial Officers focusing on Electoral Dispute Resolution. In relation to staff of the Judiciary, JTI facilitated induction programmes for approximately 1500 new staff. For existing staff of the Judiciary, the institute facilitated 356 Judicial officers and staff to attend Kenya School of Government trainings. These KSG trainings were partly promotional and aimed at enhancing the skills and competencies of the participants.
TRAINING OF JTI STAFF AND TEAM BUILDING
JTI staff attended a retreat aimed at training and equipping the staff members with skills of minute taking, change management, report writing and rapporteuring. JTI Staff gained knowledge and skills and they also were taken through team building and excursion activities. The facilitators were drawn from KSG Nairobi and KSG Mombasa
TRAINING ON LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR REVENUE AND TAX LAWS
JTI conducted a training workshop for Court of Appeal Judges from 12th to 15th October,2017. The main agenda of the training was to discuss revenue and taxation issues that relates to law. Other objectives were as follows;
- To explain the role of Kenya Revenue Authority in the economy;
- To explain assessments relating to various tax heads (VAT, Income Tax & Excise);
- To give a presentation on dispute resolution mechanisms within Tax Law- (Objections & Appeals);
- To elaborate enforcement of Tax Recovery: Law and Challenges;
- To understand the role of Intelligence Gathering in Tax Administration and emerging areas and challenges;
- For participants to appreciate Judicial enforcement and implementation of EAC Community Law and Emerging issues in Customs Administration;
- To discuss ICT in the Court of Appeal and KRA Case Management System;
- To discuss the jurisdictional aspect and mechanisms for resolving tax issues in Kenya;
- To discuss the national budget making process;
- To appreciate the role of intelligence gathering and broader perspectives on tax issues, legal issues;
- To learn on the KRA electronic filing system.
ONGOING RESEARCH PROGRAMMES
As part of JTI mandate to undertake various research programmes and/or come up with policies, various research programmes have been actively in progress. Amongst the programmes undertaken by the JTI’s Research and Policy department include:
- Training Needs Assessment (TNA): With the transforming Judiciary and the launch of Performance Management System in 2015, JTI jointly with the Directorate of Human Resource & Administration has taken strategic initiative to delve deeper into ways that enrich competencies, capabilities and potential of Judiciary employees. With the successful assessment of Training Needs of the Judiciary workforce, it is believed that the Judiciary will be in a position to better evaluate its trainings outcomes with a view optimizing its resources towards meeting the strategic training needs.
- Reduction of Case backlog: The overall objective of this task is to develop a working tool for study and to conduct the study and develop a workable, largely resource-neutral, strategy for clearance of case backlog in the Superior Courts of the Kenya Judiciary, being the High Court and Courts of equal status as well as the Court of Appeal.
- Tool for Evaluation of Individual Performance: An evaluation tool for performance measurement and appraisal of Judges and Judicial Officers is currently being developed, JTI has partnered with stakeholders to facilitate research and development of an acceptable tool.
- Justice Needs Survey (JNS): This program aims at researching on what a common citizen needs and faces from the services offered to them by the Judiciary. This will help in developing polices and structures that would solve the discrepancies.
- Training policy: The overall objective of this task is to develop a policy document to guide all stakeholders in regard to trainings.
UPCOMING INDUCTION FOR NEW STAFF
During the 2016/2017 financial year, the Judicial Service Commission in order to enhance the human resource capacity of Judiciary, recruited over 1200 Judiciary staff. The staff includes secretaries, clerical officers, court interpreters, ICT officers and archivists. JTI has been conducting inductions for the new staff in the batches of approximately 250 participants.
The last batch is set to be inducted in November, 2017.The activity has been scheduled to be held on 15th to 18th November, 2017 with the following objectives:
- For participants to understand the Sustaining Judiciary Transformation (SJT) & Culture Change;
- For participants to be sensitized on ICT as an enabler of effective service delivery and ICT program in SJT;
- To understand Judiciary performance management system and Appraisal System;
- To understand career growth and scheme of service of service in the Judiciary;
- Effective communication in the workplace & customer care skills.
UPCOMING INDUCTION FOR NEW MAGISTRATES
The Judicial Service Commission has recruited 38 new magistrates who will be inducted at JTI. The magistrates have been appointed through a gazette notice No.10809 dated 3rd November, 2017. The effective date of the appointment is 13th November 2017. The induction will take place from 5th – 9th December 2017. The objectives will be as follows:
- To appreciate the jurisdiction of the magistracy which includes plea taking and recording of proceedings and overview of the Criminal law process and procedures;
- To be familiarize with bail and bond policy and its application and the law, policy and principles of sentencing;
- To appraise the law and practice of temporary injunctions.
- To appreciate the role of a magistrate in Evaluation of evidence;
- To gather skills and competencies necessary for effective Judgement writing;
- How to handle common mistakes in civil law and criminal law and procedures;
- To understand the Community Service Orders;
- To appreciate the Active Case management and Court room management as well as administration of CUCs;
- To read and understand the ‘Sustaining Judiciary Transformation’ Blue print;
- To appreciate the Performance Management and Evaluation.
WORKSHOP FOR JUDGES OF EMPLOYMENT AND LABOUR RELATIONS COURT (ELRC) AND ELECTION OF PRINCIPAL JUDGE
The ELRC held a workshop for its Judges in October 2017. The event was held on 04th – 07th October, 2017 with a theme of striving towards an efficient Employment and Labour Relations Court with a focus on sustaining Judiciary Transformation: opportunities, challenges and strategies. The main objectives were:
- To share the vision of the ELRC & implementation of SJT;
- To describe the challenges & strategies to clear backlog in ELRC;
- To understand the role of SRC in resolution of Economic Labour Disputes;
- To understand the conflicting jurisprudence within the court;
- To understand the performance contract and targets for the Court;
- To indicate the emerging jurisprudence for Labour Court and stakeholders view.
During the workshop, the election of the Principal Judge was conducted and Justice Maureen Onyango from Kisumu Law Courts was elected.
WORKSHOP FOR JUDGES OF ENVIRONMENT AND LAND COURT AND ELECTION OF PRESIDING JUDGE
With permission from the Office of the Chief Justice, JTI organized election for the Presiding Judge of the Environment and Land Court (ELC) on 4th to 9th June 2017. The purpose of the workshop included:
- To share to the participants the vision of the ELC & implementation of SJT by ELC;
- To discuss the Water Regulatory Framework and emerging jurisprudence from the Water Appeals Board;
- To explain the emerging environmental jurisprudence from the National Environmental Tribunal (NET);
- To understand the Active Case Management for the court;
- To highlight on the environmental law training manual;
- To learn more about the proposed Africa Judicial Education Network on Environmental Law;
- To learn on the challenges & strategies to clear case backlog in ELC;
- To appreciate the role of Court Annexed Mediation in clearance of Case Backlog;
- To know facts and figures of the Performance Measurement and Management for the court;
- To understand harnessing synergy of the civil society and other stakeholders in enhancing performance of ELC;opic
- To understand the proposed amendments to the ELC Act and practice directions for the Magistrate Courts.
At the end of the workshop, the Hon. Justice Samson Okong’o was duly elected as the Presiding Judge for the Court.
SUSTAINING JUDICIARY TRANSFORMATION (SJT)
As part of dissemination and sensitization to staff, all trainings and workshops organized by JTI have had a component on SJT whose theme is as follows:
- Fair access to Justice;
- Clearance of Case backlog;
- Integrity, fight corruption and re-organization of Judiciary Complaints handling mechanisms;
- Restructuring and strengthening the office of the Judiciary Ombudsperson;
- Judiciary digital strategy;
- Leadership and governance.
The workshops highlighted the main focus of SJT that includes:
- Improvement in the speed and quality of service delivery
- Increasing efficiency and effectiveness at individual and system levels,
- Promoting individual accountability for performance
- Promoting institutional accountability
- Automation, digitization and improvement of work methods
- Operationalization of development systems
- Entrenching performance measurement and monitoring and evaluation
- Entrenching developed policies and manuals
INTRODUCING PERFORMANCE TARGETS AT JTI
Performance Management and Measurement Understanding (PMMU) for the Judicial Training Institute
JTI negotiated performance targets and performance contracts with PMMU during 2016/2017 financial year to cascade the contents of the contract to the staff of the institute. The purpose of this Understanding is to enhance accountability for results by focusing on delivery of the mandate of the Institute and forms the basis for continuous improvement for the transformation of the Judiciary.
This understanding establishes a framework for clear performance objectives, goals and targets for the Judicial Training Institute and its staff whereby the Director, Judiciary Training Institute submits monthly, quarterly and annual performance reports, based on the performance indicators and targets of every individual and department in the institute to the Chairman JSC, and/or his designated representative.
The reports shall be accurate, timely and submitted in the specified reporting formats for purpose of monitoring progress of performance and for annual evaluation.