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50 Magistrates to be recruited to ease backlog of cases

Tuesday July 14 2020
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Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi (left) when she inspected Kakamega Law Courts on July 14, 2020. PHOTO | ISAAC WALE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By BENSON AMADALA
By VICTOR RABALLA

An additional 50 magistrates will be recruited next month to address the backlog of court cases due to the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi has said.

She added that the vacancies will be advertised next month.

Ms Amadi said the Judiciary was waiting for the swearing-in of new judges to help ease the backlog of cases at the High Court.

She spoke during a visit to the new High Court premises at the Kakamega Law Courts Tuesday.

The Sh388 million facility is part of the Judiciary’s projects on infrastructural improvement to enhance service delivery in the Western region.

“The construction is 95 percent complete and court operations will be switched to the new building once the cabling for IT infrastructure has been put in place,” Ms Amadi said.

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She said the Judiciary will strive to complete the ongoing construction of law courts across the country to enable them to serve more people.

“At the moment, we have nine counties which have no High Courts while another 100 sub counties have no magistrates’ courts,” she said in Siaya.

She expressed confidence that the Judiciary will continue improving services to enhance access to justice.

Ms Amadi said they will continue upscaling virtual hearings as they limit physical hearings to contain the spread of the coronavirus in line with the Ministry of Health guidelines.

Speaking during a visit to the Siaya Law courts on Monday, she said the priority is to substantially reduce the pile-up of cases, considered one of the impediments to access to justice in the country.

"The only advantage we have is that not so many people are filing cases after we closed courts following the outbreak of coronavirus," she said.

Siaya presiding judge Roseline Aburili said that 438 criminal cases have been filed at the High Court, 315 resolved while 105 civil cases have been resolved out of 129 cases filed in the year 2018/19.

In the same period, the three magistrates have successfully resolved 1,688 cases out of 1,970 cases filed as 489 civil cases were handled out of a total of 665.

The courts have also collected Sh5.3 million in fines, Sh3.8 million in fees while the revenue growth shot by 66 percent.

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