'PERSISTENT PROBLEMS'

Lumumba blames cases backlog, graft on Judiciary's 'unnecessary' regulations

Says rules, regulations has made the road on which justice travels to be narrow.

In Summary

• Dr Lumumba promised to solve the problem in six months if appointed as Supreme Court judge and gave six recommendations.

• He said that the Judiciary should start off by harmonising all the rules of procedure and practice rules

Dr Patrick Lumumba when he appeared before the JSC for the interview of the post of Supreme Court judge on May 4, 2021.
Dr Patrick Lumumba when he appeared before the JSC for the interview of the post of Supreme Court judge on May 4, 2021.
Image: FREDRICK OMONDI

Law professor Dr Nyaberi Patrick Lumumba has blamed the persistent problem of backlog and corruption on unnecessary rules and regulations put in place by the Judiciary.

This, he said, has made the road on which justice travels to be narrow.

Dr Lumumba promised to solve the problem in six months if appointed as Supreme Court judge and gave six recommendations.

“The road on which justice travels is the only challenge the Judiciary has because it is narrow, it is muddy and because of that, we have backlogs and corruption. Problems of backlog and corruption are not systemic but one arising out of this narrow road,” he said.

He said that the Judiciary should start off by harmonising all the rules of procedure, practice rules such that documents that are filed in the magistrate's court, high court and Supreme Court are the same.

This, he said, helps in knowledge management and secondly, when one appeals the original case, documents will move from one court to another without one having to file fresh documents.

Secondly, he said parties should be encouraged to file all documents in a case starting with plaint, authorities, submissions and exhibit all at once to avoid the intermittent filing of documents.

"Once the documents are filed by all parties in 30 days then the court can give judgment in another 30 days so that matters can be determined in a record 60 days," he said.

Thirdly, he said, a two-tier system of determining cases should be put in place to enable full hearing for cases where parties probably might be raising genuineness of documents filed.

"For cases where documents are not questioned there will be no need of hearing as judges will just give decisions after going through documents," Lumumba said.

Dr Lumumba’s fourth suggestion is to hire stenographers who will be typing proceedings as the cases are going on so that when the parties want to appeal the record is ready.

Fifthly he says the Judiciary should hire commissioners of assize to clear the backlog of cases and as the final and sixth step, the institution should put in place requirement that once a party files its memorandum of appeal there is an automatic stay (order stopping the implementation of a decision being challenged) to cut the time spent by parties seeking stay and go straight to hearing the appeal itself.