The Judiciary is in the process of establishing more Children’s Courts which are child friendly.
Speaking during the launch of a Children’s Court Service Week at Ngong Law Courts, Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu said that the Judiciary is committed to establishing more children courts and training all magistrates and judges on dealing with children in conflict with the law.
The DCJ said that courts are committed to ensure that the best interest of the child is taken into account when dealing with their matters.
Lady Justice Mwilu asked the justice actors to go beyond the service weeks and ensure children matters are heard expeditiously.
The DCJ further urged the community to play their role in protecting and guiding the children and not to leave discipline to the justice system.
“The family and the community must protect our children, the Judiciary will not take up the role of disciplining children, the community must play their role,” Justice Mwilu said.
The area Member of Parliament Hon Joseph Manje urged parents to plan for children that they can be able to take care of. This is to ensure that children are not neglected.
The US State Department of Justice pledged to support the Judiciary in ensuring that children cases are heard and determined expeditiously and in accordance to the Children Act to ensure that those in conflict with the law are not negatively affected by the judicial processes.
The Department’s representative Stacy de la Torre said that protecting the rights of children is an agenda dear to the US government.
Lady Justice Teresia Matheka who is a member of the National Council on Administration of Justice taskforce on children matters, said that the justice system needs to protect children rights in a timely manner and that all cases in courts affect children.
“ All cases that get to court affect children in one way or another and that’s the reason the task force was set up to look at matters affecting children.” Justice Matheka said.
Ngong Law Courts was established two years ago and has since received 432 children cases and resolved 359. The court hopes to clear all the 73 pending cases.
The service week will be conducted between July 2- 6. This is a precursor to the Judiciary Service Month for Children Matters which is observed nationally in court stations in the month of November.