The Judiciary has moved to ease the backlog of succession cases, after the launch of Court-Annexed Mediation, that will be based in Murang’a Law Courts.
Court-Annexed Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution, whereby cases which are taken to court for litigation are referred to mediation for possible settlement, with the objective of speedy resolution of disputes.
Speaking during the launch of the Court, at the Murang’a Law Courts, the Presiding Judge, Murang’a High Court, Justice James Wakiaga, said that Court-Annexed Mediation cases are resolved with the assistance of court accredited mediators, usually lawyers who first receive training in mediation.
“A case is screened and if it qualifies, is referred to mediation. The mediator listens to their grievances and supports them in reaching a mutually acceptable solution,” said Wakiaga, adding that the agreement reached is considered legally binding by the Court.
Wakiaga divulged that the courts have been marred by delays of solving cases, which have slowed down the wheels of justice, leading to public outcry to find possible solutions for a more effective justice system.
“The operationalizing of this specialized court will significantly reduce the backlog of cases as they will be handled in a simple, inexpensive and expeditious manner,” he said.
He said that its uniqueness lies is the fact that matters filed should be concluded within a span of 73 days, as opposed to the normal court proceedings, where cases can take even up to one year.
He further said that since the Judiciary started the operationalization of Court-Annexed mediation in various courts around the country, the courts have managed to process and conclude over eleven thousand cases which has brought back to the economy a tune of Sh 5 billion.
On her part, Lady Justice Lucy Gacheru, a judge at the environmental and land court said that the much-awaited court mediation annexed was long overdue and that its introduction will ease the backlog of cases.
“We are sure that the backlog of succession cases in the courts will reduce significantly,” she said, adding that majority of the cases involve family members and this specialized court will help them settle their disputes without involving the normal court procedures, which at time takes long to be concluded.
Chairlady Murang’a County Mediators, Winnie Kimondo, encouraged residents to channel their succession cases to Court-Annexed Mediation, since the process is simple, inexpensive and matters will be handled in an expeditious manner.
“Our call to the residents is that they make use of the opportunity by filing their cases and having them finalized within the shortest time possible,” she averred.
By Anita Omwenga and Ian Muchiri