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CJ boasts of Court's achievements

24 June 2013, 17:23 Wangui Joseph

The court of appeal has been for long regarded as the tortoise of judiciary, Chief Justice Willy Mutunga noted on Monday.

Mutunga said cases filed in the court of appeal would take eight years to be heard and finalized but during the inaugural State of the Judiciary report last year, there were only 6 701 pending cases.

Speaking in Nyeri during inauguration of an appellate court, Mutunga said the backlog emerged due to shortage of judges to handle the cases.

“The system of rotating Court of Appeal judges on circuits meant that appeals filed in Nyeri could only be heard once; maybe twice in a year even as they piled month by month,” said the CJ.

He said that last year, Judicial Service Commission (JSC) hired 15 judges in an effort to speed up wheels of justice which brought to 26 Court of Appeal judges.

“Earlier this year, the Court of Appeal listed, heard and concluded 200 cases in Mombasa and Nairobi. We believe that these successes can be repeated everywhere in Kenya,” added the Judiciary President.

He noted that the recruitment of judges was part of a deliberate strategy of speeding justice delivery and to take justice closer to the ordinary person.

“The constitution requires the judiciary to make justice accessible to all and to deliver it without delay. That is why JSC decided to decentralize court of appeal to four stations around the country in an effort to decentralize public resources accountably and efficiently,” he added.

Mutunga disclosed that there were 805 pending cases in Mombasa, while Kisumu had 903 and Nyeri 447 but the judges who were recently posted in Malindi, Kisumu, Eldoret and Nyeri have reduced in numbers.

The CJ however lauded Justice Alnashir Visram of Nyeri for reducing criminal appeals in his jurisdiction from 86 to 34 within two months, among other civil appeals and applications.

He added that Court of Appeal has revised its rules of procedure to promote access to justice and 'it is also the beacon for the integration of information communication technology in the administration of justice and management of court process'.

The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Paul Kihara Kariuki, elected leaders from Nyeri County and other judges and magistrates were also present in the event.

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