Home General Land, environment courts in Nairobi booked to March 2021 amid acute staffing gap » Capital News

Land, environment courts in Nairobi booked to March 2021 amid acute staffing gap » Capital News

by kenya-tribune
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Speaking when he delivered his State of the Judiciary and Administration of Justice Report (2018 – 2019), CJ David Maraga said 17,833 cases are pending amid an acute staffing gap/PSCU

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 23 – Land and Environment Courts are fully booked until March 2021, Chief Justice David Maraga announced on Thursday while calling for urgent measures to fund the Judiciary’s bid to employ more judges and magistrates.

Speaking when he delivered his State of the Judiciary and Administration of Justice Report (2018 – 2019), the CJ said 17,833 cases are pending amid an acute staffing gap.

“The sad bit of it is that the judges in Nairobi are not able to give a date for hearing of any case this year. I asked and I am told they have pushed them until next year between March and April,” he said.

Maraga however said in order to increase operational efficiencies and improve access to justice for all Kenyans, the institution has employed Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms such as the establishment of a Court Annexed Mediation programme which now covers court stations in 12 counties across the country.

He stated that a total of 2,905 matters referred to Court Annexed Mediation out of which 1,879 were processed and concluded.

“The programme is already adding greatly to our speed of justice delivery. During the reporting period, for example, a total of 2,905 matters were referred to CAM out of which 1,879 were processed,” he said.

“In the relatively short time of its implementation, the CAM programme has facilitated the release of approximately Sh7.2 billion in funds that were tied in litigation.

These early and positive results demonstrate the great potential of that programme to assist in addressing the perennial challenge of the rising workload in our courts and facilitate the release of funds tied in litigation to the economy.”

The CJ further stated that the institution is doing its best to ensure a significant reduction of case backlog.

He pleaded for more funding to facilitate use of technology in handling some of the cases.

“At the end of the year under review (2018/2019), we reduced the backlog of cases which are five years or older from 170,186 to 38,781. This is important because one of the most critical goals the Judiciary had set for itself in the SJT is to drastically reduce or eliminate from our system, cases which are older than five years,” the CJ said.

Maraga announced that case backlog of all cases stood at 341,056 compared to 372,928 in the previous year (2017/ 2018) which represented a nine per cent reduction in the overall case backlog in the Judiciary.

Additionally, the rate at which cases were filed as compared to the rate at which they were resolved stood at 97 per cent.

The Land and Environment Court which has the exclusive first instance jurisdiction in arguably the most important economic resource in Kenya – land – has a backlog of 17,833, the report released Thursday indicated.

Employment and Labour Relations Court has a backlog of 13,264 cases, the Magistracy recording the highest backlog at 425,161.


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