CJ calls for alternative mechanisms to clear case backlogs

CJ calls for alternative mechanisms to clear case backlogs

Chief Justice David Maraga has urged Kenyans to embrace alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to help reduce a backlog of cases in courts.

Maraga called for a societal change of attitudes in solving disputes arising from family members and the community at large.

He said some of the civil cases that consume a lot of time in the judicial systems could be resolved using elders and religious leaders.

“Most of the civil cases in this country are on land. We have very few Land and Environment Judges which complicates the matter since a High Court Judge cannot handle such matters,” Maraga reckoned.

Read also: CJ Maraga: We are ready for any election disputes

The Chief Justice noted that majority of land disputes cases currently in court could have been solved amicably without moving to courts.

“Family members can sit together and decide how to share ancestral land without involving the courts,” he stated.

The CJ admitted that even though land cases were not difficult to handle at times they were being complicated by wrong attitude among some Kenyans wanting to be heard.

Maraga, who paid an impromptu tour of the Meru Law Courts on Friday, decried the shortage of judicial officers leading to a backlog of cases.

The CJ further lamented over the congested Meru Law Courts, saying magistrates were serving in facilities he termed as “cubicles”.

He urged the national government to allocate sufficient funds to help the judiciary recruit more judges to handle land cases and improve infrastructure.

On election preparedness, the CJ said the Judiciary was adequately prepared to handle any election disputes in the forthcoming polls many of which he noted would arise from the Members of the County Assembly.

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