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September 21, 2017

Clear kids’ cases backlog, 6 months is too long, says Justice

Court of Appeal Judge Lady Justice Martha Koome addressing court users in Kitale on Tuesday.
Court of Appeal Judge Lady Justice Martha Koome addressing court users in Kitale on Tuesday.

The Kitale law court will use Children Service Week to clear the backlog of children’s cases, Court of Appeal Judge Lady Justice Martha Koome has said.

She asked the chief magistrate at the Kitale court Valentine Wandera to assign lawyers, magistrates and prosecutors to speed up the cases within the set timelines.

Koome urged the Court Users Committee to establish a child protection unit. “You need to also form a CUC child protection subcommittee to ensure that children in the court system are attended to quickly,” she said.

Speaking in Kitale Town on Tuesday, Koome said the constitution stipulates children’s cases should not drag for more than six months.

“We deny them their rights to education, development and growth,” she said. Koome, who also chairs the taskforce on children matters, urged the community to work together in bringing up children, saying society is to blame for the rising children’s offences.

“If a child misbehaves till they land in court, it means the community has failed,” Koome said. Wandera asked parents to obtain birth certificates and hospital clinic cards for their children.

She said lack of documentation slows down offenders’ cases. “If a child lacks the documents, we have to start the process of determining their ages,” he said.

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