14% REDUCTION

Judiciary laments budgetary cut

Report recommends the Judiciary engages the National Treasury and National Assembly for additional funds.

In Summary

• Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi says this will affect their operations.

• Maraga says at least 70 courts are under construction.

The Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court.

The Judiciary has criticised the National Assembly for slashing its 2019-20 budget by 14 percent. 

In 2018-19 the Judiciary was allocated Sh14 billion, but the amount has been cut to Sh12 billion in the next financial year.

Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi on Friday said this will affect their operations.

"This numbers should concern all of us here today as the prevailing situation does not augur well on the constitutional mandate of the Judiciary," she said.

 

"When we make proposals of a guarantee of a minimum of 2.5 per cent of the national budget for the Judiciary, it's not just an idle musing; it's a carefully thought-out proposal intended to build an important arm of government which was historically neglected." 

Amadi was speaking during the launch of performance management and measurement understanding evaluation report at the Supreme Court buildings.

The report launched by Chief Justice David Maraga recommends that the Judiciary engages the National Treasury and National Assembly for additional funds.

The allocations need to be ring-fenced to ensure the institution's operations and projects are completed, it read.

Maraga said at least 70 courts are under construction.

He cited the newly launched courts in Limuru and Msambweni and said priority should be given to the completion of such projects to take justice closer to the people.

The CJ said they are in the process of recruiting more judicial officers to enhance productivity.

The report indicated that the number of judges, judicial officers and staff in certain courts was found to be inadequate compared to the caseload.

It recommended a staff audit and rationalisation to address the shortages in courts and directorates. 

The report indicated that the Nairobi Civil Division was the best performing Court of Appeal in 2017-18.

During the performance period, five court of appeal stations and divisions signed PMMUs and were evaluated. They included Nairobi Civil Division, Nairobi Criminal Division, Malindi, Kisumu and Nyeri.

The Court of Appeal in Malindi determined the largest number of criminal appeals—within 180 days at 60 per cent, followed by Nyeri at 50 per cent, Kisumu 48 per cent and Nairobi 42 percent. 

Some 123 magistrate’s court were evaluated. The courts showed improvements as the number of resolved cases increased from 170,858 in 2015-16 to 260,319 in 2016-17 and 313,362 in 2017-18. Case clearance rate rose from 42 percent  to 88 percent.

The courts' productivity increased from  480 cases to 745. The Nakuru magistrate's court received an award for best performing in backlog reduction.

The report recommends that to further continue with case backlog reduction, initiatives such as court service weeks and active case management, should be enhanced. 

The Milimani Children’s Court was awarded the best performing magistrate's court on children matters. Under the Environment and Land Court, the award went to Kakamega court. 

The best performing High Court on backlog reduction award went to the Milimani Family Division in Nairobi. The overall best performing court award went to High Court in Machakos.

Most Kadhis courts did not have backlogs. Kadhis courts in Balambala, Faza, Hamisi, Hola, Ijara, Kericho, Kitui, Migori, Mpeketoni and Voi reduced their case backlog by 100 per cent during the period under review. 

The third cycle of PMMUs evaluation focused on the extent to which courts and administrative units have met the targets set on the implementation of PMMUs.

The main focus of the evaluation was to promote a culture of continuous improvement in expeditious delivery of justice. 

Edited by Josephine M. Mayuya