Kenya: Nairobi Top Courts Go Digital as Maraga Launches e-Filing Portal

You will no longer be able to file cases manually in Nairobi as the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and the High Court have gone digital.

Chief Justice David Maraga on Wednesday officially launched e-filing system that promises to render cases of misplaced and missing files a thing of the past at the Supreme Court.

Besides filing, the system will also allow litigants to assess costs, pay and serve court papers in defendants electronically.

Although the system has been in use for a while, it has faced many hiccups but the Covid-19 pandemic has forced the Judiciary to fully embrace it.

Through the e-filing system, law firms, lawyers, prosecutors and litigants will file cases from the comfort of their offices or homes as court users need not visit the court premises or banking halls.

All court users will now be required to register themselves through a portal, https://efiling.court.go.ke, to log on to the system, upload documents and assess the fees to be charged.

The files are submitted to the registry online for the matter to be filed and placed before a judge for hearing.

Speaking during the launch, Chief Registrar of Judiciary Anne Amadi said the process faced many challenges including resistance from within and without.

Limited resources, she said, also contributed to the slow uptake of e-justice system.

As of July 1, about 170 advocates had filed their cases through the system, with the Commercial Division of the High Court registering the highest number.

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji said digitising the court system will enhance transparency and reduce cases of corruption.

During the launch, judge Maraga, who has come under scathing online and offline attacks from the executive, hinted that he was unlikely to take early retirement.

Since he led Supreme Court judges in nullifying President Kenyatta re-election in 2017, the top judge and the third arm of government have been targets of the executive.

The executive employed dirty tricks to frustrate the judiciary, including budget cuts, ignoring court orders, thinly veiled attacks in political rallies and press conference, online campaigns against Justice Maraga and the Judiciary among others.

But the CJ on Wednesday said he is still around because "there is so much that needs to be done".

"I noticed when the president of LSK spoke it was like he was bidding me goodbye but I am still here," he said.

"When a judge goes on retirement, he or she gets a letter to go on leave from the chief Registrar of Judiciary and that I think will be in November."

Justice Maraga had previously said out of 132 courts, 126 of them have reliable internet while the remaining six are in extremely remote places that do not even have electricity.

Other than E-filing, the Judiciary had previously rolled out a case tracking system (CTS) in 18 court stations.

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