Africa

Kenya: Advocates Urge CJ Koome to Entrench IT Use in Magistracies

Nairobi — Advocates in Rift Valley have called upon Chief Justice Martha Koome to improve on use of information technology especially in magistrate courts in a bid to fast track the dispensation of justice in Kenya.

Speaking on Wednesday ahead of the launch of a permanent appellate court in Nakuru by CJ Koome, Aston Muchela, the incoming chairperson of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) in Rift Valley region, said that several magistrates were struggling to adopt the use of virtual court system.

He partly attributed the challenge to the state of information technology initially deployed by the judiciary.

"The Chief Justice seems to be very keen on the issue of access to justice, we want the Chief Justice also to improve on use of IT, especially in the lower magistrate courts," he said.

Muchela emphasized on the need to adopt measures to hasten the process of training magistrates to familiarize themselves with the virtual court platform and the running of online court proceedings.

He noted training was particularly important to ensure cases are handled expeditiously and in an efficient manner.

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"We are still finding a situation where several magistrates are struggling to adopt the use of information technology and virtual court systems, that's where we desire to go as a nation as accessing courts on a virtual platform means we can handle cases faster and from a distance," he posed.

Muchela, however, applauded the move by the judiciary to launch a permanent appellate court in Nakuru saying it will improve access to justice.

He noted that Nakuru region depended on the Nyeri appellate court in an arrangement that saw cases from Nakuru transferred to Nyeri for hearing and determination.

"Initially we had to wait for a temporary sitting in Nyeri, and when Nyeri judges are sitting that is when Nakuru cases are transferred there, or some heard in Nairobi. When there was a shortage of judges, even the temporary sitting could not be held, many cases were left unattended and judges could only hear matters filed under urgency," he posed.

Muchela said the establishment of a permanent Court of Appeal bench in Nakuru will help in fast tracking cases within the region.

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