The Star (Nairobi)

12 December 2012

Kenya: 16 Judges Hired to Clear 6,700 Cases in Two Years

Judiciary has hired 16 new appeal court judges to clear the backlog of 6,707 pending cases by 2014. The average waiting period for a case to start and end by the appeal court is just more than eight years.

And to address this problem, Chief justice Willy Mutunga said the Judiciary wants to decentralise the appeal court to Malindi, Nyeri and Kisumu which have the highest number of cases filed after Nairobi.

"Previously, Court of Appeal judges would travel to a station and hear cases for one week in a month. The registry for the Court of Appeal would keep moving around, creating opportunities for delays and inefficiencies. Often times, the cases would not proceed," said the CJ.

He said the decision will save tax payer Sh100 million, which is used every year to move appeal court judges from one court station to another in the country to hear cases.

However the institution will not have space to accommodate the new judges and as a result it will rent space in Nairobi's Upper Hill area for Sh50 million every year to house six courtrooms for appeal court judges.

The Judiciary is working with Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology to keep construction costs at a minimum. "Although the expenses involved are not small, we are convinced that the cost of waiting for justice is much higher than what we are paying to increase access to justice."

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