Kenya: JSC Official Asks State to End Judiciary Budget Woes

Judicial Service Commission member Macharia Njeru holds a press conference at the Supreme Court on July 22, 2019.
29 October 2019

A Judicial Service Commission (JSC) member wants a speedy resolution to the ongoing stalemate on the move to further slash the Judiciary's budget.

In a statement, commissioner Macharia Njeru said reducing the agency's budget will cripple delivery of justice to Kenyans.

"I urge a speedy resolution geared towards reinstating the budget of the Judiciary. Never again should its funds be withdrawn in this cavalier manner," said Mr Njeru, a representative of the Law Society of Kenya in the JSC.

The JSC has questioned how the Judiciary is expected to perform expeditiously in determining cases while being underfunded.

"It is sad to note that the little amount allocated to the digitisation project has been withdrawn," said Mr Njeru.

As at Monday, the Judiciary had put up notices in some stations indicating suspension of mobile court services, some tribunal sittings and transfer of cases to specific courts.

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For instance, the National Civil Aviation Administrative Review Tribunal issued a notice indicating to the public that it will not be sitting as from October to December this year owing to the cuts.

The Judiciary has confirmed that none of its 20 tribunals is currently sitting due to the reduced funding.

On Monday, there was also a notice informing members of the public and litigants that services at Employment and Labour Relations Court in Malindi could only be accessed through the court in Mombasa.

In Nakuru, an environment and lands court case was postponed to a later date due to a similar reason.

But even as the pinch of the cuts is being felt in stations away from Nairobi, the Appellate Court in the city centre is facing its fair share of woes.

Since the three judges -- Alnashir Visram, Erastus Githinji and Phillip Waki -- are set to retire by the end of the year, the workload for the remaining officers is set to increase.

The Judiciary had requested Sh31.2 billion to fund its operations but it was only allocated Sh17.3 billion.

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