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JSC to marshal public participation in ICD set up

06 February 2014, 13:38 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi - Chief Justice, Dr. Willy Mutunga has stated that the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) will marshal and channel public participation in the formation of the International Crimes Division (ICD) into the High Court’s departments.

Mutunga said that involving various stakeholders, both state and non-state agencies through consultation broadens the ICD ownership process in the establishment of the division.

“Issues in the establishment of this division call for a multi-agency partnership if Kenya is to obtain optimum results in delivering justice for all its citizens. As stakeholders in the justice chain, you have to grapple with key questions, such as what Kenya ought to do as a member of the international community to play a role in addressing matters of international concern and interest,” said Mutunga.

He said the adopted ICD must be modeled to meet international standards by training judges and other staff required to run the court, the need for highly specialized investigations, the infrastructure and security, the witness protection programme and amenable detention facilities among others.

“During the course of the year, the JSC will embark on setting up an embryonic secretariat by appointing a registrar for the division, followed by the appointment of judges and other staff. The process of establishing this division will take time. This division will require huge investments in terms of resources and technical assistance to realize the objectives that led to its establishment,” noted Mutunga.

He reiterated that the proposed ICD has an expanded jurisdiction of dealing with some transnational crimes such as terrorism, piracy, drug-trafficking, trafficking of persons, trafficking of arms, cybercrime, counterfeiting, trafficking of wildlife parts among others.

He also said that the dual jurisdiction of the division has sufficient volumes of work without undermining the trial of international crimes whenever they occur.

“The complexity of cases arising from transnational crimes, their continuous evolution, and the fact that they transcend national boundaries requires highly specialized investigations, prosecutions and handling in the courts. These offences pose a grave threat to the very survival of the nation, hence the need for a specialized approach,” stated Mutunga.

Mutunga further said that although raising funds needed to establish the division remains a challenge, the JSC is committed to building a strong and productive partnership with various stakeholders on mutual respect and a spirit of partnership.

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