25 new judges to be posted to marginalized areas
07 February 2014, 16:31
Nairobi - Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has announced that the Judiciary has hired 25 judges waiting to be sworn in by the President and then posted to marginalized areas to provide mobile court services.
Mutunga said that the recruitment of more judges aims at strengthening the judiciary, noting that the Court of Appeal currently has 26 judges while the High Court has 80 and that the number of magistrates has also been increased to 458 and 35 for Kadhis Court.
“Of the 25 new judges recommended for appointment by the Judicial Service Commission and awaiting swearing in, more than half have been selected to establish High Court sub-registries in Lodwar, Narok, Tana River, Mandera, Wajir, Taita Taveta, Kwale, Moyale, Kapsowar, Kitui, Isiolo and Marsabit. These sub-registries will be the forerunners of the High Court stations planned for construction in these areas, and will be sites for the delivery of mobile court services,” said Mutunga.
He noted that despite the ratio of judicial officers to the number of cases filed being uneven, the challenge calls for a revision of the institution’s work methods to eliminate the delays that cause backlog especially by recruiting more judges and expanding the footprint of justice across the country.
“Still, the number of cases corresponding to the rise in the population increases each year. It is a mark of the increasing confidence in the Judiciary that 116 754 cases were filed in the courts across the country in the period under review. Over 190 000 cases were concluded in all the courts across the country. Still, some 657 760 are pending,” stated Mutunga.
Mutunga also said that innovative audit of cases is ongoing to assisting in presenting the country with clean data on number of cases filed, those resolved and ones pending as well as how to settle them.
He cited Judiciary’s outstanding achievements in settling cases in the years 2013 and 2014, noting that the institution managed to discharge its responsibility with professionalism and decorum especially when it resolved a total of 1 587 appeals and 4 054 community service orders cases reviewed during the Judiciary Service Week alone.
“In an attempt to mitigate the time spent on election petitions, judges volunteered to hear criminal appeals during the Judiciary Service Week. A total of 3 830 offenders were released, making a saving of KES 241.2 million that would have been spent on inmates,” he stated.
The Chief Justice observed that the Judiciary can only be transformed by building confidence in it, noting that obedience of court orders is a mark of leadership and true statesmanship while the disregard of it is a sign of anarchy.
“Our response to court orders is an important marker in the notional distinction between the rule of men and the rule of law. Commitment to the rule of law is not a favour that the courts crave, but a duty that constitutional democracy, political stability, and economic progress demand,” said Mutunga.
Mutunga was speaking during the launch of the 2013 state of the judiciary and administration of justice report.
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