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Mutunga launches initiative to clear backlog of cases

18 July 2014, 15:37 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has set up a special initiative under the 11 newly appointed judges to assist in clearing about 1 500 backlog of cases in the Civil Division of the High Court before being posted to their working stations.

Mutunga said the initiative dubbed “The Civil Cases Service Week” will kick off on July 21, 2014 targeting the High Court Civil Division at Nairobi’s Milimani Court having the highest pending cases of 35 213 where 8 467 are civil appeals that some have been pending for over 14 years.

“The Judges will serve at the Division for a period of two weeks before being posted to courts across the country with the greatest need,” Mutunga said, adding that the Judiciary is committed to expediting delivery of justice in the courts.

He cited that a cases audit conducted between 2012 and 2014 showed that there were 82 136 cases pending in the Milimani High Court Divisions, which is approximately 50 per cent of the 177 898 pending cases countrywide.

The Judiciary’s move to launch the initiative is in line with the Constitution’s Article 159 which guarantees the institution the responsibility to deliver justice expeditiously without any undue delay.

The exercise is also in line with the Judiciary’s Transformation Framework that outlines several strategies to expedite delivery of justice such as opening new courts for faster access, dissemination of court processes information to the public, improving efficiency with the use of electronic case and document management systems and promotion of alternative dispute resolution.

Last year, the Judiciary conducted a similar short term service week for the hearing of Criminal Appeals in its determination to reduce backlog of cases in courts.

The 11 judges to preside over the Civil Division’s cases were sworn in by President Uhuru Kenyatta on July 1, and Mutunga has directed that the oldest appeals, some that have lasted for 14 years be given priority during the hearing time.

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