Over 200 judicial officers from magistrate courts in the counties are in Nairobi this week to discuss service delivery.
This is the second Annual Magistrates and Kadhis Colloquium that brings together magistrates and Kadhis from across all subordinate courts to review their performance. The first ever magistrates and Kadhis colloquium was held last year.
The four-day colloquium themed: Introspection and Sharing Experiences: Sustaining Judicial Transformation in a Digital Environment and Electioneering Period, will focus on election dispute resolution and various themes in relation to the Chief Justice’s blueprint: Sustaining Judiciary Transformation (SJT): A Service Delivery Agenda.
Speaking during the official opening of the conference at the Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi, today, Chief Justice David Maraga said that the Judiciary is keen to digitize its records and automate proceedings. This process, he said will start on July 1 at Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi and will be rolled out to other court stations, countrywide.
He said that once this is done, the disappearance of court files in Judiciary will be a thing of the past.
On delays of cases, the CJ called on the officers to fully be in charge of court processes in order to expedite settlement of disputes brought before them. He said the Judiciary is committed to ensuring that all matters brought before it are concluded within the set timelines and will not allow itself to be used as a scapegoat when delays occur in the delivery of justice.
He told the judicial officers that public confidence in the Judiciary depend on how the officers dealt with cases and directed them to be fair, firm and conduct themselves with integrity. “If you put your foot down, the prosecution will move the case, why do we allow ourselves to be used as a scapegoat? Let us be in charge of the court processes so that cases are finalised in time,” Justice Maraga said.
He said the Judiciary was in the process of hiring more judicial officers to ensure that hearing and determination of other cases in courts is not affected during the election dispute resolution period.
Some of the issues to be discussed during the conference include restructuring the Office of the Ombudsperson, e-filing of cases, election petition rules, new legislation on elections. Other matters to be discussed at the colloquium include Islamic jurisprudence and its application in Kenya, anti-money laundering legislation, countering financing of terrorism and asset recovery.
Speakers during the colloquium are drawn from the Judiciary, IEBC. NCIC, Kenya Law, media and the legal fraternity, among others.