NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 17 – Chief Justice Martha Koome has assured the members of the civil society that the judiciary is committed to speedy determination and conclusion of court cases through active case management and adequate staffing.
Koome was speaking on Friday during a meeting which brought together heads of several civil organizations including the ICJ Kenya, International Justice Mission, Kenya Human Rights Commission, Centre for Rights Education and Awareness, TI-Kenya, Amnesty International and the Wangu Kanja Foundation.
The Chief Justice stated that her office is dedicated to ensuring no case drags in court.
“I assured them of expeditious determination of cases through Active Case Management to achieve the goal of not having a case that takes more than three years in a trial court and one year in an appellate court,” Koome said following the virtual meeting.
During Friday’s meeting, Koome detailed her aspiration for continued collaboration with the civil society to maintain and protect the independence of the judiciary.
Judiciary has come under fire from other government agencies and the executive arm which have accused judicial officers of being the weak link in the fight against corruption.
Concerns on intimidation of judges have also emerged following the arrest of High Court judges Said Juma Chitembwe and Aggrey Muchelule on claims of corruption and abuse of office by the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) on July 22.
Koome told the civil society actors that the Judiciary ought to and must be independent from both state and non-state actors adding that its quest for independence should not be interpreted as judicial detachment from other actors in the society.
The CJ said that the Judiciary will improve the capacity of the court user committees to ensure enhanced service delivery in courts across the country.
“Judiciary will strengthen Court User Committees which are central to the realization of my vision for each court station becoming a ‘center of excellence’ that innovates unique interventions suitable to its peculiar needs through a participatory and consultative process,” said Koome.
She further stated that her office was paying special attention to corruption cases and will ensure that the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Courts are adequately staffed to ensure cases are resolved on time.
Koome’s meeting with civil society actors came a day after she unveiled an 8-pillar judiciary transformation agenda anchored on efficiency, accountability and social justice.
Speaking in Nairobi during the launch of her vision of social transformation through access and the Performance Management and Measurement Understandings Report (PMMU), 2019/2020 Koome said the vision is a roadmap for the future of the Judiciary under her stewardship.
“On 21st May 2021, I took the oath of office as Kenya’s 15th Chief Justice following a transparent and competitive recruitment process by the Judicial Service Commission. Today, I see my tenure as Chief Justice as affording me and all who work in the Judiciary, the opportunity to champion the cause of realizing the dream of many Kenyans for this institution as signaled in the Constitution,” she said.
The Chief Justice said that the vision christened “Social Transformation Through Access to Justice” is predicated on eight guiding principles; Accessibility and Efficiency; Transparency and Accountability; Inclusiveness and Shared Leadership; Cooperative Dialogue and Social Justice.
Koome said that her vision for the Kenyan judiciary is to develop an independent, vibrant, efficient, and accessible institution that is responsive to the aspirations of Kenyans and serves as a true guardian of the rule of law and the democracy.