Capacity needs for players in the administration of Justice

Report
Capacity needs for players in the
administration of Justice
Judy Omange
Registrar, High Court
Outline of the presentation
• Background and Context
• The Judiciary today- gains and challenges
• Capacity needs of players in the
administration of commercial justice
Background
• Kenya ranks at position 136 out of 189 in
Countries with ease of doing business
• Factors taken into account in the ranking
include, starting a business, dealing with
construction permits, getting electricity,
registering property, getting credit, protecting
minority investors, paying taxes, trading across
borders, enforcing contracts, resolving
insolvency
• The Judiciary plays a critical role across all
indicators
• The last two indicators of resolving insolvency
and enforcement of contracts are directly the
responsibility of the Judiciary
• In these two crucial categories, the Judiciary
scores at 137and 136 respectively
• Issues under consideration include;
• Filing and Service
• Trial and Judgment
• Enforcement of Judgment
• It is therefore evident that the handling of
commercial disputes and other disputes with
an economic bearing plays a critical role in the
growth of the economy
• Where are we as a country?
• Kenya Vision 2030 seeks to create a globally
competitive and prosperous nation with a
high quality of life by 2030
• This will be achieved through the political,
social and economic pillars
• In respect to the rule of law the goal is to
enact and implement the policy, legal and
institutional framework vital for promoting
and sustaining fair, affordable and equitable
access to justice
• Barriers to accessing justice are distance,
technical procedures, capacity of Judicial
Officers and staff, registries, vulnerable groups
The Judiciary today
• The enactment of the Kenya Constitution set
the foundation for much needed Judicial
reform
• The Judiciary Transformation Framework
provides the blueprint for Judicial reform
• Four pillars of transformation
Pillar 1
PEOPLEFOCUSED
DELIVERY OF
JUSTICE
3 KEY RESULT AREAS
KRA 1 - Access to
and Expeditious
Delivery of Justice
KRA 2 - PeopleCentredness & Public
Engagement
KRA 3 - Stakeholder
Engagement
Pillar 2
TRANSFORMATIVE
LEADERSHIP,
ORGANISATIONAL
CULTURE, AND
PROFESSIONAL AND
MOTIVATED STAFF
4 KEY RESULT AREAS
KRA 4 - Philosophy and
Culture
KRA 5 - Leadership and
Management
KRA 6 - Organisational
Structure
KRA 7 – Growth of
Jurisprudence and
Judicial Practice
Pillar 3
ADEQUATE
FINANCIAL
RESOURCES AND
PHYSICAL
INFRASTRUCTURE
2 KEY RESULT AREAS
KRA 8 - Physical
Infrastructure
KRA 9 - Resources
and Value for Money
Pillar 4
HARNESSING
TECHNOLOGY
AS AN
ENABLER FOR
JUSTICE
1 KEY RESULT AREA
KRA 10 – Harnessing
Technology as an
Enabler for Justice
Gains so far
• Increase in number of judicial officers across all
courts. Judges of High Court have increased from
42 Judges to 92.
• Expansion of courts to increase access. Number
of High Courts up to 22 from 16 and increase in
number of Magistrates courts to 117
• Specialized courts with status of High Court
namely Industrial Court and Environment and
Land Court have been set up
• A representative Judicial Service Commission has
been set up
• Courts have not shied away from making
landmark decisions
Challenges
• The courts continue to grapple with an
increasing backlog
• Last year the High Court cleared 26,502 cases
which means each of the then sitting 80
Judges each cleared 331 cases the whole year
• Considering that 54,602 new cases entered
the system, the case clearance rate was 50 %
• For the pending cases to be finalized the case
clearance rate must be over 100%
• As at end of July last year pending cases were
135,450 in High court alone
• Service weeks have been used with some
success.
• However they were more successful in
Criminal than in Civil cases
• Important lessons for the bar- bench
• What do the figures mean for the economy
What do the figures mean?
• Billions of shillings denied to the economy
• The value of claims filed in the Commercial
Division for one year, 2013 alone is Kshs 46,
232, 610, 491
What is being done
• Classification of cases
• Development of practice directions
• Adoption of ICT
• Streamlining registry procedures
• Streamlining the execution process
• Exploring use of court annexed mediation
Players in Commercial Justice
Parliament
and policy
makers
Lawyers
The
Judiciary
Business
community
Mediators
Litigants
Capacity needs
• The work of Judges and magistrates need to be
made more efficient by use of technology to
digitize proceedings. The bar also need to
embrace technology
• Support systems need to be streamlined to
ensure smooth case flow from the registry to the
court and to the Judge
• Modern infrastructure needs to be developed
to ensure that the courts reach every corner
of the country
• The infrastructure should be able to create a
working environment where disputes can be
resolved with ease
• Ultimately the Judicial officer is responsible
for control of the trial process
• Judicial officers require training in policies,
processes and techniques through which their
diaries and cases can be managed better
• The Judicial officers should be supported by well
trained staff in court operations and well
empowered to discharge their duties
• Judicial officers and lawyers handling commercial
matters require specialized training on the
complex evidence involving financial, economic,
scientific and technological data
• All stakeholders require training on Court
annexed mediation which should be
embraced as a possible solution to expedite
delivery of justice
• Parliament and policy makers need
sensitization on the critical role played by the
Judiciary and the necessity therefore for
adequate resources to be given to the court
• The business community and members of the
public need sensitization on ADR
• There needs to be sustained engagement
between the Judiciary and private sector to
ensure that the Judiciary responds to the
demands of a growing economy
• Ultimately all Court Users Committees ought
to be sensitized on the importance of securing
economic justice
• Ultimately, the business community will
remain a key stakeholder as their confidence
in the Judiciary to determine commercial
disputes in a fair and expeditious manner will
contribute to the overall rating of the country
as a business hub.
• ‘Justice is what we discover when we walk
together, listen together and even love one
another in our curiousity about what justice is
and where justice comes from.. ‘ Socrates
• Thank you for your attention.

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