, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 26 – The Judiciary on Friday announced the introduction of video conferencing in the courts by June this year aimed at improving efficiency.
Chief Justice David Magara said the Judiciary has already procured equipment and trained magistrates to commence the pilot programme.
Speaking during the opening of the National Assembly’s committee on Justice and Legal Affairs induction workshop in Mombasa, Maraga said some courts have been connected with reliable Internet for the program.
“We intend to introduce video conferencing technologies to reduce cost and associated risk of transporting judicial officers, paralegal staff and witnesses,” said Maraga.
He said digitizing courts will lead to speedy access to case files, faster processing of cases that will lead to the speedy dispensation of justice.
He said already, 15 judges and five magistrates have been nominated for the pilot programme.
The CJ said the ongoing judicial transformation launched 10 years ago has seen a reduction of a backlog of cases in the court.
He said the cases reduced from over one million cases to 500,000 by end of last year.
Last year, the courts handled 35,000 of 48,000 cases that are not more than five years old.
Maraga attributed the stride in reducing the backlog to the construction of more courts, recruitment of judges and magistrates in recent years as well as stopping of unnecessary adjournments.
The number of High Court judges increased from 53 to 160 while magistrates increased from 316 to 462 by last year.
However, Maraga noted that the Judiciary was still grappling with many dead cases and requires more funds.