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Magistracy must leverage ICT to enhance access to justice says DCJ Mwilu

The Judiciary > Headlines  > Magistracy must leverage ICT to enhance access to justice says DCJ Mwilu

Magistracy must leverage ICT to enhance access to justice says DCJ Mwilu

Magistracy must leverage ICT to enhance access to justice says DCJ Mwilu.

Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu has affirmed that Magistrates’ Courts must leverage advancements made in the rollout of Information Communication Technology in the Judiciary to enhance access to justice.

The DCJ, who spoke at the end of the Heads of Station Forum in Kisii County said solutions provided by the Data Tracking dashboard and e-filing will enhance performance and accountability in the institution. “The use of data and ICT to enhance individual accountability and to improve performance is here to stay. I would urge us all to recognize this and do the right thing,” DCJ Mwilu asserted.

She underscored the importance of performance-based output, commonly referred to as Performance Management and Measurement Understandings (PMMU) as a cornerstone of the Judiciary’s efficiency.

“As Heads of Station, you must engage with the implementation of your station’s PMMU with the utmost seriousness, sincerity and with an attitude of improvement and efficient, people centred service delivery,” she said.

The DCJ reminded the Heads of Station of the enormous task they bear in the overall responsibility and accountability for administration and human resource management including wellness and psychosocial support.

She underscored the importance of subordinate courts in access to justice saying that “Magistrates and Kadhis’ courts are the engine of justice provision in the Judiciary; the point of contact for the majority of Kenyans seeking justice through the formal judicial system. As such, Heads of Station are central to the achievement of the Judiciary’s strategic objectives for people centred justice as contained in the STAJ institutional vision.”

She urged the Heads of Station to practice Shared Leadership as espoused in STAJ but not abdicate overall responsibility for the effective administration and dispensation of justice.

“Shared leadership and inclusiveness requires that you consult, partner, allow for robust and genuine public participation and within constitutional confines and in the spirit of interdependence, enhance the ability of all actors to effectively realise their respective mandates.”

DCJ Mwilu observed that the role of Heads of Station has gone beyond hearing matters in the courtroom under STAJ and focusing on ‘people-centredness’ with a key aspect of this reality being the plurality of justice provision and the agency and justice capabilities of people and communities in addressing their own justice concerns.

“As Heads of Station, you are not only adjudicators, you are justice promoters, connectors and facilitators. Cognisant of the particular justice needs and avenues in your constituency, be deliberate, innovative and collaborative developing people-centred activities and interventions that will have socially transformative impacts within these communities.

Speaking during the same forum, the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary, Winfridah Mokaya noted the need to increase the public and stakeholders understanding of the work the courts do. She observed that there is need for each and every court to have a way of reporting directly to the local community.

“Once the Chief Justice has constituted the State of the Judiciary and Administration of Justice Report (SOJAR) Committee for this year, we will work to develop a framework for reporting by stations to their immediate stakeholders at the local level to facilitate more meaningful engagement with our work. Deeper understanding of our work at this level can increase confidence in the Judiciary, foster better understanding of our success and challenges and help with our resource mobilization.”

Further the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary noted that the Judiciary will increase its uptake of green energy. “Power supply is a big challenge in many stations. Many stations have raised concerns about the solar back up. We will prioritize having a reliable solar power solution which can be deployed in as many stations as are in need.”

 

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