- East Africa
Chief Justice Martha Koome has convened a critical meeting for Heads of Court, focusing on judicial independence, improved performance, enhanced accountability, and seamless service delivery.
The meeting, which commenced on Monday and will conclude on Wednesday, addresses pressing issues within the Judiciary, especially in light of recent events that have brought the role of judges into public scrutiny.
In her opening remarks, the CJ stressed the importance of dialogue with other branches of government to address challenges in the administration of justice while safeguarding judicial independence.
“While we engage in constructive conversations to optimize the institution’s performance, we must ensure that discussions do not encroach upon the autonomy of judges in deciding cases,” emphasized CJ Koome.
However, she acknowledged the need for introspection regarding how courts handle cases affecting public interest and policy, particularly concerning the timeliness of resolving such matters.
“Concerns have been raised about the handling of cases involving time-sensitive government programs, especially when hearing dates are set months after ex-parte orders are issued,” Chief Justice Koome noted.
She highlighted the importance of reviewing procedural rules to expedite the disposal of public interest cases while respecting judges’ decisional autonomy and actively managing such cases.
Furthermore, CJ Koome reaffirmed the Judicial Service Commission’s (JSC) mandate to address allegations of corruption, urging Heads of Courts to report any concerns promptly.
“We must motivate and inspire judges, judicial officers, and staff to uphold integrity. Any concerns about corruption should be brought to the attention of my office or the JSC,” she directed.
The Chief Justice emphasized the Judiciary’s commitment to enhancing operational efficiency through technology, announcing the nationwide rollout of e-filing on March 11th, 2024.
“We are embracing technology to streamline court proceedings, including the establishment of a pilot transcription center and the introduction of a ‘Tracking Dashboard’ for real-time monitoring of court activities,” CJ Koome explained.
She highlighted new features such as the publication of rulings and judgments, along with Automated Daily Court Reporting, aimed at addressing discrepancies in the Case Tracking System and ensuring reliable data for informed decision-making and institutional development. Capital News