The use of technology has made it possible for the Judiciary to conduct court proceedings nationally despite challenges posed by the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
In Nyeri County the proceedings are being linked via Skype from Nyeri Law Courts to the Nyeri Police Headquarters.
The suspects are held at the Nyeri police station while the presiding magistrate and the prosecutor are stationed at the law courts and the parties linked through Skype.
Speaking to KNA today, Nyeri Chief Magistrate Wendy Kagendo said that face to face court proceedings are better compared to virtual proceedings due to the physical attendance of both parties.
“There is no physical interaction of documents, especially in the case of identity cards (ID) where they were passed from lawyers to magistrates for confirmation but now the documents are uploaded and viewed on the screen,” Kagendo said.
Kagendo noted that all cases are done virtually apart from succession cases where confirmations of grants are needed and are done physically in the court of appeal.
She added that one does not have to be physically present in court but can attend the proceedings virtually from any place thus reduction in transport costs apart from some skeptical lawyers who may want to be physically present so as to charge attendance fee.
The Magistrate affirmed that court proceedings in Nyeri are delayed because bond, fine payments and file registration are done through E-mail filing which is time consuming unlike in Nairobi where they are done through E-registration.
“The virtual proceedings are much expensive, for instance typing, uploading and printing of documents to create physical files unlike face to face which were done manually,” Kagendo added.
She further said that face to face proceedings are better than virtual where they are able to read the emotions of the accused to determine whether he/she is remorseful.
Nyeri deputy police officer in charge of crime Robert Awiti said that the virtual proceedings have helped curb the spread of Covid-19 where one is given personal space thus reducing mass interactions.
“We are facing network problems where the pictures and voices of other speakers come distorted thus making it difficult for the speakers to understand each other,” Awiti said adding that apart from the challenges experienced during the virtual proceedings it is 90 percent effective.
By KNA Team