Kenya: Maraga Revisits Call for More Funding as Judiciary Goes Online

Nairobi — Chief Justice David Maraga has warned that unless the government provides adequate funding to the judiciary, its programs including the flagship online operations launched for courts in Nairobi, will collapse.

Speaking Wednesday when he presided over the launch of the Judiciary E-filing system, Maraga urged Members of Parliament to ensure that the institution is given enough funds to avert case backlog in the near future and guarantee smooth operations.

"We cannot afford to be left behind and as a matter of fact, as an arm of the government, we should have gotten here more than 10 years before. All the judiciary requires is some reasonable funds to be able to run its operations," Maraga said.

The CJ affirmed that Judiciary is determined to use technology in its operations and fasten all court processes so as to attract investors, both locally and globally.

"If we do not have enough resources, we will not be able to run this project and it will fail in the next one or two years to come. We need enough funding and when I say this, some people say I am crying. I will continue crying for the Kenyan people, the Judiciary budget is hardly 1 percent of the country's entire budget," the CJ said.

The President of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) Nelson Havi said the use of E-filing at the Judiciary marks a milestone that should be supported by all Kenyans.

He called on the Executive am of government to ensure that Judiciary is adequately funded to ensure the system works as intended

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji said the adoption of E-filing system by Judiciary will curtail corruption cases, enhance transparency and accountability in justice delivery.

Haji pointed out that digitization and use of Technology will also reduce the time consumed in filing and tracking the progress of cases.

"This system will help increase and achieve a higher level of efficiency at the Judiciary and all stakeholders in the justice system. Its benefits cannot be overemphasized, it will lead to reduced chances of corruption and other related man-made challenges thereby building public trust in the justice system," Haji said.

With the launch of the e-filing system, all parties including Judges and Magistrates will be able to access all case files and documents online.

The system will be integrated with all major stakeholders like the Directorate of Public Prosecution, Kenya Prison Service and the Lands office.

"Let me confess here that sometimes the files don't get lost. Malicious acts of some of our staff in collusion with outsiders just take a file and put in the wrong bundle. That is something that will be a thing of the past," the Chief Justice said.

The online system will also help solve the other challenge in authentication of court orders.

With the online system, litigants through their lawyers will easily file their documents even during the weekend at the comfort of their offices, pay legal fees, and obtain a case number.

They will also be able to track the progress of their cases and even get a judgment on the same platform.

Moreover, witnesses will no longer be required to appear in person because they can be requested to file their testimonies online.

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