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JSC starts hiring to reduce case backlog



The Judicial Service Commission has started recruiting more than 40 judges and over 100 magistrates, Chief Justice David Maraga has said.

To achieve speedy delivery of justice, Maraga said the new judicial officers will ease the backlog of cases. The Judiciary continues has a severe shortage of resources, both human and financial.

In the Environment and Land Court, for instance, it’s impossible to get a hearing date this year as the court diary is full, the CJ said.

The Court of Appeal has 19 Judges against the minimum of 30. “This shortage continues to hamper the effective disposal of cases,” Maraga said while launching the State of the Judiciary and Administration of Justice report.

He said the backlog stands at 327,928 cases. Out of the 327,928 cases, 55 per cent are between one and three years old, 23 per cent between three and five years and 22 per cent, over five years. In the last two financial years, majority of the pending cases were in magistrates’ courts at 407,631 followed by the High Court at 92,327 cases.The least number of pending cases was in the supreme court at 95.

Read: Cases backlog to be cleared, says CJ

Criminal cases form the bulk of both filed and resolved cases compared to civil cases. The report says that backlog cases older than five years between January 2017 and June 2018 reduced by 52 per cent. The High Court reduced its backlog by 62 per cent followed by the magistrates’ courts at 50 per cent.

In 2017, Maraga gave an undertaking that they would clear all cases older than five years by the end of last year. At that time, they were 170,186 cases.

Yesterday, the CJ said between January 2017 and December 31 , last year, they had resolved 148,877 of those cases, an 87 per cent success.

Another 611,948 cases were completed in the same period, which, according to the CJ , is a significant achievement.

“At that time there were 170,186 cases which were more than five years old. In that time we resolved 148,877 of those cases which works out to 87 per cent success,” he said.

At the same time, President Uhuru Kenyatta offered the Court of Appeal judges offices at KICC following complaints their chambers were not up to standard.

The President said this is a temporary solution as the government looks for funds to build new offices at Kilimani.

More: More judges needed to clear backlog of cases — lawyers

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