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Kenyans urged to solve cases outside courts

03 September 2015, 21:33

Nairobi - Nakuru Chief Magistrate Joel Ng’eno has urged Kenyans to embrace alternative means of settling disputes out of court to save litigants and the state of unnecessary legal costs.

Speaking at the Nakuru law courts he said petty offences ought to be resolved outside courts to avoid jamming prisons with petty offenders.

“Many people think that there is only one just result of every dispute, which only courts can deliver. That is a wrong perception, “Ng’eno told News24.

The one time assistant secretary at the Public Service Commission said use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms would radically transform courts and the delivery of justice in the country.

Ng’eno said the constitution recognizes alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms and cautioned litigants against the perception that courts had a monopoly over justice delivery in the country.

He said such conflict resolution mechanisms including mediation, early neutral case evaluation and traditional forms of private dispute resolution will save the state of huge costs and smoothen relationships among citizens.

“Judiciary resources are limited, the state spends to take care of accused, this costs can be avoided. Lack of awareness on these alternative mechanisms has led to majority of people rushing to courts to solve disputes which can be handled before they reach courts,” he said.

“If a person calls another ‘Mbwa’ (Dog) that should not amount to a dispute to be solved in courts. Such conflicts arising from  differences in the  family should be handled elsewhere to save the courts time and money,” he noted.

Ng’eno also asked his colleagues to continue working closely with probation officers and children officers to amicably solve issues with social roots.

“I urge my colleagues to work closely with children officers to get detailed reports on suspects before passing  sentences,” he said.

He also asked people to embrace the Nyumba Kumi initiative as a means of solving petty offences before opting for courts.

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- MyNews24

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