CJ Maraga cries for help as courts 2019 diary is fully booked

Chief Justice (CJ) David Maraga has reported that the 2019 diary at the Land and Environment Court is already fully booked.

Speaking at the Supreme Court during the official presentation of the State of Judiciary and Administration of Justice Report (SOJAR), 2017/2018, Maraga attributed the incident to financial and human resource constrain in the judiciary.

“We continue to experience severe shortage of resources both human and financial. Some courts are hard hit.

“In the Land and Environment Court, for instance, one cannot get a hearing date in 2019 because the diary is full owing to the number of judges available,” Maraga remarked.

Chief Justice (CJ) David Maraga 

The CJ further elaborated that in the Court of Appeal, for example, there were 19 Judges out of the set minimum number of 30

“This shortage continues to hamper the effective disposal of cases,” Maraga underscored the effect of the resource constrain.

According to Maraga, the understaffing remained a thorny issue despite the Judicial Service Commission having employed 40 judges and over 100 magistrate in the recent past.

Maraga also called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to expedite the expansion of court facilities at the Supreme Court, Meru, Eldoret and Kisii courts indicating that this was highly inconveniencing.

“Our plea is to make an exemption to allow us to begin construction of the court of Appeal in a piece of land in Kilimani,” Maraga implored Uhuru.

The CJ also noted that there is a steady growth in the number of cases filed in the judiciary every year.

Addressing cases that have been in the courts for over 5 years, Maraga indicated that the judiciary had achieved 87% success rate in clearing the backlog.

“In the beginning there were 170,186 cases that had passed the 5-year threshold.

“Between January 2017 and December 2018, we resolved 148,877 of the old cases in addition to the 611,948 real-time cases solved in the period,” Maraga stated.

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