Chief Justice Martha Koome has affirmed that Judiciary is ready to deal with any conflict that may arise following the forthcoming August 9 elections.
Speaking during a consultative meeting with various Heads of Missions earlier this morning, Koome said that, “the Judiciary will enhance partnership in its quest to widen the doorways of justice that include entrenching Alternative Justice Systems as an additional avenue of accessing justice.”
The meeting was held following initial talks in October, last year, to track the progress of collaboration, agree on priority actions and deliberate on areas of mutual concern.
Further, Koome also held a one-on-one meeting with the Ambassador of Belgium to Kenya, Peter Maddens where issues of mutual interest were discussed.
Other efforts by the Judiciary to prepare for any disputes that may arise after the upcoming general election include coordinating with the Judiciary Police Unit for provision of security for judicial officers, and staff during the hearing of electoral disputes and updating and revision of the relevant Election Dispute Resolution (EDR) publications and material.
This comes after Judiciary finished its first session of election dispute training for judges, which began with the High Court judges and ran for three days between February 16 and February 18, 2022, in an effort to prepare for the upcoming general election.
“The Judiciary will enhance partnership in its drive to extend the portals of justice, which includes entrenching Alternative Justice Systems as an additional route of access to justice,” she stated earlier this morning during a consultative meeting with various Heads of Missions.
Following initial conversations in October, last year, the meeting was conducted to track the progress of the collaboration, agree on priority measures, and discuss areas of mutual concern.
Koome also had a one-on-one discussion with Peter Maddens, the Belgian Ambassador to Kenya, to address subjects of common concern.
“The recent amendments to legislation on political parties and the current debate to change election laws will have a bearing on how courts handle petitions and make decisions on disputes brought to court.”
The Kenya Judiciary Academy (KJA) was hosting the training sessions in collaboration with the Judiciary Committee on Elections (JCE).
The seminars also addressed topics such as the use of technology in elections, election planning and preparation, election petition hearings, and judicial ethics in election dispute adjudication, among other topics.
A total of 72 High Court judges, 120 researchers and law clerks, 400 magistrates, deputy registrars, and at least 400 judicial employees are expected to be trained by the Judiciary.
“We assure Kenyans that the Judiciary is ready, willing, able and determined to execute its mandate under the Constitution fairly, expeditiously and with integrity for the good of our country,” she said.
The Judiciary has already projected an increase of election disputes in 2022 compared to 2017 where the courts handled a total of 389 petitions, including three presidential election petitions.
A total of 188 petitions were filed in the 2013 General Election.
Caption: Chief Justice Martha Koome March 10 2022. Photo/File