Kenya: JSC to Hire 20 New Land Court Judges to Ease Case Backlogs


The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) will next week start the recruitment of 20 new judges for the Environment and Land Court in a bid to ease the backlog of at least pending 20,867 cases.

The cases have been in the judicial process for more than five years.

The commission’s vice chairperson Mercy Deche Tuesday said the recruitment will take about three months.

LAND CASES

Speaking in Nyeri town after a courtesy call on Governor Mutahi Kahiga, Ms Deche said the county is one of the regions with a high number of land-related matters that need to be attended to.

“This is an area that is in need especially Mukurweini. We will be having a discussion with Chief Justice David Maraga about posting a new judge for the Environment and Land Court,” said Ms Deche.

Currently, there is only one judge, Lucy Waithaka, serving the Land courts both in Nyeri and Laikipia counties and there is a backlog of at least 726 cases.

MORE MAGISTRATES

Ms Deche said more magistrates will also be posted to the county.

She further confirmed that JSC will not be meeting Thursday afternoon for a full council convention to give the way forward on the Supreme Court judges facing petitions of removal from office.

“The JSC was hoping to meet on Thursday but there is a State of the Nation address by President Uhuru Kenyatta and the commission’s chairperson – CJ David Maraga – must attend. For that reason, the meeting has been postponed to sometime next week,” said Ms Deche.

On his part, Governor Kahiga announced that his county government had donated a half acre piece of land to the Judiciary for building a magistrate’s court in Kieni Constituency.

BUDGET

But Ms Deche said the building will not start soon since the commission had not planned or budgeted for the project.

“The issue of the land has just been confirmed to us and [we] cannot plan or budget before the land is there. The issue is at its infancy,” stated Ms Deche.

She said JSC’s vision is to have a court in every sub-county so as to take services closer to the people and away from the capital.

Governor Kahiga called on Parliament to allocate the Judiciary more funds to enable it decentralise its services to the people in the villages for quick dispensation of justice.

“We may be placing demands on JSC yet Parliament is not [responding] to the needs of the people. We must demand that the Judiciary is given more money to mitigate the cries of the people. We will continue agitating for more funds for them to meet our demands,” said Mr Kahiga.

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Publish date : 2019-04-02 14:36:58

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