CJ Koome while opening the Annual Colloquium for Magistrates and Kadhis

Chief Justice Martha Koome says Magistrate and Kadhi Courts are the actual ‘doorways’ of justice.

She says 85 per cent of the Judiciary’s case load and interaction for most litigants with the justice system taking place in these courts.

“I urge the courts to support innovations that improve judicial performance, including embracing court-led active management of cases, early identification of issues for resolution, promotion of diversion and alternative avenues for disputes resolution,” said Koome when she opened the Annual Colloquium for Magistrates and Kadhis, the first to be held since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic three years ago.

The colloquium provides a platform for judicial officers to share experiences from various court stations and tackle emerging challenges.

In her address, the CJ noted that the vulnerable persons priority card system deployed in Engineer Law Courts has become the gold standard for responsive and people-centred delivery of service.

“There is need to shift from a focus on interlocutory and technical applications to the merit of cases, the application of a ‘no adjournment policy’ once matters have been fixed for hearing, and leveraging technology in service delivery,” urged Koome who indicated that they are focused on removing formal, informal and systemic barriers to access to justice.

The goal of widening access to justice, she noted, will only be attained when an efficient, cost-effective, accessible, expeditious, and fair system of delivery of justice is in place.

Priority areas under the Social Transformation through Access to Justice (STAJ) vision of the Judiciary include clearing case backlog, improving access to justice by increasing the avenues for accessing justice.

Focus is also directed at enhancing public confidence in the justice system by strengthening internal and external complaints mechanisms and improving co-ordination and synergy of actors within the justice sector.

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