Lawyers needed as research assistants

October 2, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, October 2 – The High Court is set to recruit advocates as research assistants to Judges and Magistrates to enhance the quality of judgements delivered.

Chief Justice (CJ) Evan Gicheru said on Thursday that the move would aid in reducing the backlog of cases that has stifled the justice system’s efficiency for a long time now.

Justice Gicheru made the remarks during the admission of 77 advocates to the High Court, where he challenged the Attorney General’s office to utilise the large number of qualified advocates to build a professional legal capacity and substitute the police prosecutors who lack expertise.

“The legal profession is fortunate to have a ready of qualified advocates to feed its needs for legal practitioners. To the judiciary, the large number is a boost to our strategic organisation to recruit and retain sufficient magistrates, in our bid to establish an optimum staffing level to tackle pending cases in our courts,” said Justice Gicheru.

He relayed that the huge number of advocates would improve performance among lawyers in services rendered to clients, and provide a pool of human resource for the judiciary that would support the quest for legal aid and promote greater access to justice for all.

“The increase in advocate-client ratio would directly translate into improved access to legal advice and representation in court for a great majority of our people.”

The head judge also assured that the judiciary is prepared to support the legal aid program by providing for legal representation of accused persons in capital offences, and was already compiling an updated register for pro bono advocates.

Meanwhile, he invited lawyers to amend the law conferring powers on him to officiate the admission of new advocates, to allow for delegation of duties.

“Nothing is cast in stone and any effort to improve our system to expedite the delivery of our services is welcome,” he said. 

"We shall trudge on along the path of reform undaunted by the heavy odds that confront us at every turn,” he added.

The CJ also persuaded development partners not to be swayed by criticism against the judiciary and urged them to continue supporting the Kenyan justice system.

He said the judiciary was committed to stamping out corruption and improving the quality of service.


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