NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 5 – The Judiciary will expedite all elections-related court cases to allow for adequate preparations by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga said the cases touching on the General Election and the delimitation of boundaries will be fast-tracked to be concluded by the end of August.
He said that talks with key players in the management of polls were underway to hasten the process.
He said: “I will fast-track all matters touching on elections with a view to having all of them concluded by the end of August.”
Mutunga who was briefing Prime Minister Raila Odinga on the Judiciary Transformation Framework 2012-2016 at the Supreme Court in Nairobi also revealed that the Judiciary Working Committee on Election Preparedness had embarked on the training of judges and magistrates on how to mitigate election related offences and disputes.
The CJ insisted that other departments whose functions we correlated to the Judiciary also needed adequate funding to optimise the benefits of the reforms in the sector.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga on his part commended the CJ for initiating reforms that were helping redeem the image of the Judiciary.
He expressed optimism that the reforms will restore the confidence of the public in the Judiciary which had failed the credibility test due to malpractices.
“We welcome the transformation because the public had developed a phobia against the Judiciary and opted to pursue justice elsewhere other than the courts,” the Premier said.
He cited cases during the last general polls when aggrieved parties who had sufficient grounds to file their cases opted to express their frustrations in the streets because they had lost faith in the judicial system.
Odinga said the move to relieve judges from undertaking administrative roles will improve service delivery, and minimise situations where conflict of interest arose.
He welcomed the restructuring exercise saying judges were tempted to preside over the procurement and tendering committee meetings for related gains, at the expense of their core duty to serve justice.
During the meeting, Mutunga briefed the PM about the transformation framework which was developed on four key pillars that centered on delivery of justice to the people when fully in operation.
He said the reforms intend to streamline the management of financial and infrastructural resources as the Judiciary works towards embracing Information, Communication and Technology ICT).
“The inception of modern technology in the bar will improve access to justice as most cases will be concluded expeditiously,” the CJ said.
Mutunga also hinted that the Judiciary will consider introducing performance contracting schemes in the service although his predecessors resisted the proposal whenever the executive suggested the idea.
The CJ reiterated his commitment to uphold the independence of the Judiciary while constructively engaging other arms of government in national and public interest.