28 December 2018

Kenya: Lawyers Support Mediation Approach to Settle Conflicts

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has backed the use mediation as a mandatory primary step in handling civil disputes before they are filed in court.

LSK President Allen Gichuhi told the Nation that mediation will help reduce case backlog.

"The need for the Judiciary to engage all stakeholders in the process is very key. Mediation is crucial as it is faster and disputes are solved amicably through the win-win situation," he said.

Further, the agency's chief executive officer Mercy Wambua said cases should first be vetted to determine the criterion suitable to resolve them.

"We support the initiative, but cases should be screened by the court to identify those that can be best solved through mediation. This way any matter that requires urgent orders will be addressed by the court at the interim stage after which mediation can still be done," Ms Wambua said.

GAZETTE

Presiding Judge, Commercial and Admiralty Division, Fred Ochieng said mediation saves costs, cuts back time spent in litigation and ensures a suitable outcome for all parties.

Civil cases involve private rows between persons or organisations while criminal cases involve an action that is considered to be harmful to society.

Justice Ochieng, who chairs the Alternative Disputes Resolution Task Force, said litigants will now be required to provide proof of having sought mediation before a case is heard and determined by a court.

Chief Justice David Maraga in October announced directions to guide the rollout of Court Annexed Mediation to 10 counties: Mombasa, Eldoret, Kisumu, Nakuru, Nyeri, Machakos, Garissa, Embu, Kakamega and Kisii.

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