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Chief Justice Martha Koome. /JUDICIARY.

Kenya

CJ Koome says ICT Ministry to create e-filing desks at Nairobi Huduma Centre

NAIROBI, Kenya, July 16 – The Ministry of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) has offered to create a Judiciary desk at Huduma centres in Nairobi that will enable citizens to file their cases electronically.

The announcement was made Friday by Chief Justice Martha Koome.

The E-filing systems, which was launched on July 1st 2020,  has fully taken effect in Nairobi county and is yet to be expanded countrywide.

Addressing journalists after chairing her inaugural National Council on Administration of Justice meeting, Koome noted that it was part of the resolutions deliberated by justice sector players in a bid to increase efficiency in the criminal justice sector.

The Judiciary desks at Huduma centres, Koome said, will later be ‘expanded in other areas as the ERP is expanded in Kisumu, Mombasa and other parts of the country.”

“The Ministry of ICT has offered to help us establish a desk at Huduma Centre for citizens to do their filing at Huduma Centres and to us that is a great milestone,” she said.

The CJ said that the NCAJ meeting majorly addressed ways to improve access to justice in Kenya and resolved to improve the delivery of justice through collaboration, inter-agency support, and coordination with other stakeholders.

In effect, the European Union (EU) in partnership with United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) handed over equipment worth Sh 2 million to judicial sector players in a bid to improve justice access to the poor and marginalized.

The equipment includes 444 laptops, 166 printers, Safes, voice distortion machines, video conferencing equipment, microphones, speakers, voice recorders and various furniture which will be distributed across institutions in the justice sector.

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Koome further appealed to all judicial sector actors to fastrack the administration of justice and reduce case backlogs even as she highlighted the Judiciary’s focus on the individual responsibility of judges and magistrates responsible for a specific case.

“We must deliver efficient services to Kenyans, we must reduce the backlog of cases and they are many, we are also trying to reduce the number of years that a litigant waits in court, cases pending in court are an embarrassment and frustration to Kenyans,” the CJ said.

As part of the resolutions, Koome said NCAJ will regularly conduct exercises of reviewing sentences of those charged with small offences and have served a significant amount of time.

Koome said the move is aimed at decongesting prisons, remand homes as well as enabling prisoners to be allowed to contribute to nation-building.

“We will do an exercise of ensuring that we regularly review sentences of those with small offences and have served a significant portion of sentences. They need to be released decongest prisons, remand homes, police custody places,” she remarked.

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji, Attorney General Kihara Kariuki and Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai are among the NCAJ members present.

They affirmed their commitment to the efficient delivery of justice even as they all expressed gratitude to the EU and  UNODC for the donations.

Speaking during the NCAJ  meeting, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’I reaffirmed the national government’s  support to the Judiciary’s infrastructure requirements in efforts to ensure social transformation through access to justice

He said that the  Executive’s engagement with the Judiciary  “does not amount to compromise.” and that the Executive has no intention to encroach on the independence of the Judiciary but said all institutions must work closely to ensure justice is served to the Kenyan public.

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