Chief Justice Martha Koome says the Judiciary will set up courts to hear and determine petty disputes to ease congestion in the criminal justice system.
Koome said the congestion of petty offenders has sabotaged the effectiveness of the system.
The CJ was speaking during the development partners roundtable in support of Social Transformation through Access to Justice (STAJ) in Nairobi on Monday.
“We are keen on reversing this trend to divert petty offenders from the criminal justice system,” she said.
“Towards this end, we intend to establish Courts of Petty Sessions in major urban areas to ease congestion in the criminal justice sector, operationalize instant traffic fines and support family rehabilitation programs.”
She revealed that the judiciary has a plan of setting up 100 small claims courts countrywide to enhance economic development through access to efficient commercial justice in the next five years.
Nairobi and border towns are prioritized in the strategy.
“To ensure access to efficient commercial justice that supports our country’s quest for economic development, we are keen on having 100 fully established Small Claims Courts in the country within the next 5 years.”
The CJ acknowledged support from the Kingdom of the Netherlands and IDLO which have expressed their intention to support the rollout of the Small Claims Courts in border towns.
She revealed that the Judiciary is working closely with the Hague Institute for Innovation in Law (HiiL) to roll out a people-centered justice system while at the same time leveraging technology to ensure efficiency in service delivery.
“I urge you to continue supporting the Judiciary directly or through HiiL to ensure that our blueprint inspires the entire justice sector to adopt a people-centered programming approach.
“We are investing in data and evidence to support decision-making, negotiating for additional resources, cultivating the political will necessary to support policy and law reform and deepening our partnerships with friends and allies to scale game-changing initiatives that we have seen to have a substantial positive effect on access to justice.”
To scale up the automation of registration of the cases, the CJ said they have plans to establish Judiciary desks in all Huduma centers.