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Courts to resume normal operations after Covid-19 scale down

Acting Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu has called for the resumption of normal court operations with strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols.

            Mwilu said it was imperative for courts to resume physical sessions in order to reduce case backlogs as well as dispense justice faster.

            “The current situation has resulted to frequent postponement of cases due to the absence of key witnesses during virtual or physical hearings,” she said.

            Ag CJ made the remarks on Wednesday during the official opening of the Annual Judge’s Conference at Sarova Whitesands Beach Hotel in Mombasa.

            She said there is no justification for courts not to resume normal operations just like other public and private entities.

            “This issue requires collective consideration as we need to have expeditious resolution of disputes and fair delivery of judgments,” said Justice Mwilu.

            The Courts have not been spared the deadly coronavirus outbreak as number of cases had been reported forcing temporary closures of some law courts.

            Physical court sessions are currently restricted to a limited number of people owing to the Covid-19 pandemic to minimize the spread of the disease.

            According to the Directorate of Planning and Organizational Performance (DPOP) Half Year Caseload Statistics Report of the year 2020-21, a total of 10,646 cases were filed against 7,713 cases resolved in that period.

            As at June 2020, there were a total of 89,415 pending cases in the High Court and which increased to 92,530 pending cases as at December 2020.

            Principal Judge of the High Court Lydia Achode said minimum resources and transfer of Judges has also contributed to case backlog.

            Justice Achode gave an example of the transfer of 32 Judges last year which she said resulted in a serious backlog and a number of cases remained unsolved.

by Mohamed Hassan

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