DAUNTING AGENDA

Will Koome change Judiciary if she becomes CJ?

Wanting to do it is one thing, but having the political support and funding are another

In Summary

• She plans to hold a service week in her first 30 days in office to help reduce pending cases at the apex court.

• She told the commission that when she takes office she will put in place proper communication channels such as short text messages to litigants.

Justice Martha Koome.
CHANGE-MAKER? Justice Martha Koome.
Image: THE STAR:

All eyes are on nominated Chief Justice Martha Koome to see if she will implement everything she promised during her recruitment interview.

If we go by her answers, the Judiciary will undergo major changes its operations if Parliament approves her name and she implements her vision.

During her interview last month, Appeal Court Justice Koome proposed what she would do to enhance access to justice.

Although she is the first female nominee to ever be considered for CJ, Koome said leadership is not about gender but performance. She said she is equal to the task.

She cited the example of a driver, saying so long as one has a driving license and knows how to drive, the car will move.

She told the commission that when she takes over office she will put in place proper communication channels such as short text messages to litigants to advise of the progress of their cases.

Justice Koome said she will pursue putting the Judiciary Fund into operation to help solve the perennial problem of under-funding.

The Judiciary has always been raising concerns about the small budget it is given to implement its large mandate.

At one point, former Chief Justice David Maraga called a press conference on the problem of lack of funding that has stalled many Judiciary projects.

Justice Koome was also concerned about stalled projects countrywide due to lack of funding. She said she would put in place a system to monitor value for money in the Judiciary.

The Court of Appeal judge said she would hold a service week in her first 30 days in office to help reduce the backlog of pending cases.

“Thirty days is a short time to do inquiry of the problem and solve it but low hanging fruit is to do a service week to list the cases that are pending within the 30 days and reduce the backlog," she said.

Judge Koome will also negotiate with the state to make sure that all tribunals are transitioned to the Judiciary.

She said when she is the CJ she will fix meetings with state officials to negotiate and agree that tribunals will be answerable to the Registrar of Tribunals appointed by Judicial Service Commission.

(Edited by V. Graham)