CJ Koome to new judges: Clear 12,000 pending cases in six months

Written by on April 18, 2024

 Chief Justice Martha Koome has said the newly sworn-in 20 judges will undertake an initiative to help in clearing pending cases by  undertaking a Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) in the next six months to clear 12,000 cases pending in various divisions of the High Court in the country

Speaking during the swearing ceremony which was conducted in state house led by the head of state His Excellency Dr william Ruto she said that the cases that need to be solved during that period are  family, civil, criminal, anti-corruption, constitutional and human rights, judicial review and commercial and tax divisions cases.

“In the second phase of the RRI, we are targeting courts in the wider Nairobi Metropolitan Area, which accounts for 30 per cent of the national case backlog, with the aim of resolving an additional 9,417 cases,” Koome added.

She noted that as of March 30, 2024, the total pending cases before the High Court were 68,121.

“This means that the case load per Judge is 873 cases,” she said.

Additionally, she said the Judiciary is also actively undertaking prison decongestion through the review of sentences for minor offences, under the Community Service Orders program  whereby the petty offenders will be made to participate in tree planting exercise across the country in order to help the government in achieving its motion of planting 15b trees by 2032 .

As of Monday, prisons were holding 62,639 inmates, significantly exceeding the capacity of 30,000.

President William Ruto and CJ Martha Koome with the newly sworn-in judges and other judicial stakeholders at State House, Nairobi, on May 14, 2024.
Image: courtesy

“We are committed to ensuring that each of our country’s 47 counties has access to a High Court. Currently, Wajir County lacks a High Court and we intend to establish a sub-registry immediately and arrange periodic visits by a judge,” the CJ said.

She noted that they will reinstate permanent High Court judges in Lodwar and Kapenguria, where resident judges were previously withdrawn due to the low number of judges.

Further, she said the Judiciary has embarked on reviewing its Constitutional and Human Rights Procedure Rules and Judicial Review Procedure Rules.

This is to ensure that time-sensitive public interest matters are heard and determined promptly.  CJ Koome has been calling on judicial officials to finalize cases that have been pending for a long period, in a bid to enhance justice.

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