World Bank Sh12b court projects to end in two months

Friday, August 20th, 2021 00:00 |
Chief Justice Martha Koome.

World Bank has announced that the Sh12 billion Judiciary Performance Improvement Project (JPIP) funding will end in October.

The revelation came during a meeting between the Judiciary led by Chief Justice Martha Koome and Brettown Woods’ institution’s Country Director for Kenya Keith Hansen.

Koome says the project, which began in 2014, has come to an end. The CJ said funding has been instrumental in transformation of the Judiciary in fulfilling the aspirations of the public.

This can be seen through officials training, which has ensured efficient service delivery. 

Project has increased access to justice with the construction of 13 new High Courts in Kitui, Chuka, Vihiga, Nyamira, Nanyuki, Isiolo, Kakamega, Nakuru, Kajiado, Siaya, Kapenguria, Maralal and Makueni counties, and a new Court of Appeal in Nakuru. Some eight Magistrates Courts were also constructed.

“It has been the single largest investment in the development budget of the Judiciary. To date, it has disbursed over 84 per cent of the funding with the balance committed in ongoing contracts,” Koome said.

World Bank has been Judiciary’s major funder, aiding improvement in four key areas including Court Administration and Case Management, Judiciary Training and Staff Development, Court Infrastructure and Project Management.

“The project has been key in training for improved and efficient service delivery through effective change management for the entire Judiciary,”Koome said. 

It has also been instrumental in the development of manuals and Standard Operating Procedures for Judiciary’s internal processes, including significant ICT support.

Project supported the first and most comprehensive assessment of the Judiciary’s workload, which helped determine the total caseload in the institution which was previously unknown.

Total caseload

“These systems, especially e-filing and the case management system, enabled us to quickly pivot to e-filing and online court hearings following Covid-19 outbreak,” the CJ said. 

She continued: “The project introduced and entrenched performance management that has enhanced transparency, accountability and overall service delivery.

The courts are measured against indicators such as case clearance, backlog reduction and timely delivery of judgments.”  

The CJ also said the project  supported Court User Committees, chaired by heads of courts and includes other actors in the justice system like prosecution, police, prisons and probation officers.

Under JPIP, the Judiciary further adopted Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms and has been using court-annexed mediation since 2017 with over 9,000 cases referred to mediation.

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