ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Use mediation to cut case backlog in courts, urges magistrate

The Constitution endorses alternative dispute resolution as alternative to court proceedings.

In Summary

• Bungoma senior principal magistrate Charles Mutai said this would help immensely in cutting down the number of cases that are piling up in the courts.

• Mutai warned members of the public to be wary of conmen who hang around the courts purporting to be staff. 

Bungoma senior principal magistrate Charles Muta in Kakamega
Bungoma senior principal magistrate Charles Muta in Kakamega
Image: CALISTUS LUCHETU

Kenyans have been urged to use mediation and other dispute resolution mechanisms instead of taking every case to court.

Bungoma senior principal magistrate Charles Mutai said this would help immensely in cutting down the number of cases that are piling up in the courts, some of which would have easily been resolved with the help of elders.

“The Judiciary works closely with the community, and we would urge them to assist us in resolving many of the cases with a view to doing away with a huge backlog in the courts,” he said

Mutai spoke in Kakamega during the burial of Jackson Omolo, who was an accountant at the Bungoma law courts.

The Constitution endorses alternative dispute resolution as an alternative to court proceedings.

“Alternative forms of dispute resolution including reconciliation, mediation, arbitration and traditional dispute resolution mechanisms shall be promoted, subject to clause (3).” 

Mutai warned members of the public to be wary of conmen who hang around the courts purporting to be staff. 

“We want to urge those seeking services in our courts to use the right procedures through our customer care desk and not to engage anybody who is not our staff," he said.

"We have people who pose like our staff and ask for money from unsuspecting persons and end up defrauding them.”

Mutai said a receipt is issued for any paid-for service in the courts and anybody who takes money without doing so is a thief. He said such people should be reported to the authorities for action to be taken against them.