14 January 2013

Kenya: Judiciary On a Drive to Clear Appeal Cases

Photo: Lauren Everitt/AllAfrica
Kenya's Supreme Court.

Nairobi — All pending cases in the Court of Appeal in Mombasa and Nairobi will be concluded by end of January.

According to the office of the Chief Justice, the hearings that kicked off on Monday will continue every day to clear 188 civil applications in Nairobi.

"This is the first time that the Court of Appeal is mounting four courts in Nairobi to hear matters simultaneously. Before the appointment of 16 new judges of the court last year, only two benches could be constituted in Nairobi," the Judiciary stated.

Four courts of appeal benches will work on the Nairobi cases while another bench of three Court of Appeal judges was delegated to hear 35 pending civil appeals in Mombasa.

It was a plan developed to deal with the backlog of cases in the Court of Appeal.

However, once measures are complete to post permanent Court of Appeal judges to Nyeri, Kisumu and Malindi, the Judiciary was positive that cases will be dwelt with promptly.

"The January cause list is a stop-gap measure calculated to deal with the huge case backlog in the Court of Appeal pending the posting of permanent judges to Nyeri, Kisumu and Malindi as part of a national decentralisation strategy," a statement from the Judiciary indicated.

In October 2012, the Court of Appeal had 6,707 pending cases.

The Court of Appeal which is the second after the Supreme Court determines 95 percent of all the appeals, according to the Judiciary.

After the new constitution Kenya embarked on comprehensive judicial reforms to restore public confidence in the local courts which for decades have been corridors of injustice and corruption.

The public vetting of the Chief Justice and the deputy Chief Justice saw Kenya begin on a journey that will ensure courts in Kenya give justice to all despite their social or economic status.

The Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board was put in place to vet all judges and magistrates another intervention Kenya is undertaking to build public confidence in its local judicial system.

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