CJ Koome urges citizens to pursue alternative dispute settlement avenue

Monday, June 19th, 2023 00:01 | By
Chief Justice CJ Martha Koome
Chief Justice CJ Martha Koome. PHOTO/Courtesy

Chief Justice Martha Koome has asked Kenyans to explore alternative mechanisms to settle disputes and reduce backlog of cases in court.

 Koome urged citizens to embrace multi-door approach to access justice, noting that the justice reforms do not end within the confines of courtrooms.

 The CJ said the approach forms part of the key reforms the Judiciary is implementing, including Alternative Justice Systems (AJS) and Court-annexed mediation that aim to expedite access to justice for Kenyans.

 She said the approach would be effective in cutting off the bureaucracies and cost challenges that stand in the way of the poor and marginalised in accessing justice.

 She noted that through court-annexed mediation and AJS, family disputes, land disputes and commercial disagreements can be settled amicably, swiftly, thereby promoting peace within the various communities.

 “The multi-door approach we have established is not just a theory but a practical, living commitment to fulfilling the justice needs of our people. It opens and widens the pathways of justice, welcoming all who seek it. With these avenues we are shaping a justice system that mirrors our societal values, respects our cultural diversity and acknowledges our shared dreams and aspirations,” said Koome.

The Court-annexed mediation, she said, offers a path to resolution that promotes harmony, mutual respect and consensus.

 “It’s a space where litigants can sit down and talk through their disagreements, steering away from adversarial litigation, fostering reconciliation and enhancing societal harmony,” she said. On the other hand, she stated that the AJS embody their commitment to the diverse cultural fabric of Kenya.

 “These systems provide justice rooted in local customs and traditions, providing resolutions to disputes in a familiar and respectful context,” she added.

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