David Maraga the Chief Justice of Kenya has asked Kenyans to use alternative dispute resolution as a way of expeditiously resolving land and succession matters.
According to Maraga, many counties that he has visited the land and succession matters were far too many resulting to an untenable situation as far as clearance of case backlog is concerned.
Speaking in Ruiru during the official opening of Ruiru Law Courts, Justice Maraga said that although the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) had recently recruited 20 Environment and Land Court (ELC) Judges, this is just a drop in the ocean the needs of Wananchi.
Justice Maraga was responding to a request by the local leaders led by area MP Simon King’ara to post an ELC judge to the new court.
The CJ further noted that the increase in the number judges goes hand in hand with the need for the development of corresponding infrastructure, including space for chambers, registries and recruitment of additional personnel.
“If you want a High Court, it is not just a question of merely posting a judge, it comes with significant financial demands,” the CJ said.
The CJ also urged the National Government to allocate Judiciary resources to enable it to deliver the much-needed court services. He added that the Judiciary plans to build at least one court in each sub-county in the country. He emphasized that the Judiciary is committed to ensuring that cases were handled expeditiously and called on advocates to play their role by avoiding numerous adjournments.
Mr. King’ara lauded the establishment of Ruiru Court saying that its presence will boost investors confidence owing to the assurance that any emerging disputes will be resolved expeditiously. The MP pointed out that increasing prices of land and expansion of the Ruiru as a commercial hub has led to escalation land-related disputes.
Speaking at the same function, JSC vice-chair Mercy Deche underscored the importance of not only Judiciary’s independence but also interdependence with other arms of government. She noted that Ruiru Law Courts was a product of such interdependence since it was fully funded by the national CDF kitty.
She said the JSC is committed to taking court services closer to the people and urged stakeholders to work closely with the court through the Court Users Committee to improve the administration of justice.
The court opened its doors to the public in April this year and has already heard 2,683 cases out 3, 397 filed at the station.