Chief Justice Martha Koome wants the new High Court Principal Judge Eric Ogola and the High Court team to clear the cases that have stayed in the court beyond the Social-Transformation-through-Access-to-Justice benchmark of three years.
She said that as of today, the High Court has 82,852 pending cases with a backlog of 52,920 cases and 19,701 of these cases have stayed in the court beyond the STAJ benchmark of three years.
She called on the Principal Judge to focus on these 19,701 cases during the first year in office and come up with strategies and interventions that will ensure that these cases will be out of the court system by December 2023.
“We have now set our benchmark for expedited delivery of justice to be the goal of ensuring that no court case stays in a trial court for more than three years, and no more than one year on appeal,” the CJ said.
She was speaking at Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi when she presided over the Installation Ceremony of Justice Eric Kennedy Okumu Ogola as the Principal Judge of the High Court of Kenya.
Justice Koome noted that the Assumption of Office as Principal Judge of the High Court implicates the idea of ‘shared leadership’ drawn from Article 165 of the Constitution in the case of the High Court and championed in the #STAJ Vision of the Judiciary.
She commended the outgoing Principal Judge, now Judge of the Court of Appeal, Lady Justice Lydia Achode for her service and leadership of the High Court over the last four years.
“I recognise and applaud the efforts of the Presiding Judge Emeritus in improving service delivery which has been achieved through embracing new initiatives such as automation and leveraging of technology in service delivery and embracing performance management,” the CJ said.