Report: Corruption a major barrier to accessing justice
The main challenges faced by the members of the public in accessing justice in Kenya is corruption and delay in processing criminal matters by agencies.
A study by the National Crime Research Centre (NCRC) also reveals that a significant proportion of members of the public are not satisfied with the performance of the National Police Service and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission in facilitating access to justice.
Though most Kenyans know what access to criminal justice entails, a significant proportion of them do not know some of the relevant actors and players in facilitating access to criminal justice, including their roles and mandates.
The NCRC recommended public sensitization about the mandates of the Victim Protection Board, Government Chemist, Witness Protection Agency, Office of the Attorney General and Office of the Director of Public Prosecution.
The study sought to establish the knowledge levels of members of the public on access to criminal justice, members of the public’s perceptions and experiences on the effectiveness of the criminal justice actors in facilitating access to justice and the challenges experienced by the public in accessing justice.
The study established that most of the respondents (51.2 per cent) had had contact with the criminal justice system in the past three years out of which majority, 62.5 per cent, were victims of crime.
The key criminal justice actors or players identified by most respondents were the National Police Service (93.7per cent), National Government Administration Officers (NGAO) at 77.7 per cent and the Judiciary (51.5per cent).
“The findings showed that most members of the public perceive the NGAOs as key players in the criminal justice system. Majority of the members of the public (six out of 10) are satisfied with the performance of the NGAOs in facilitating access to criminal justice in Kenya. Therefore, there is need to have their role enhanced and integrated in the criminal justice framework,” the report reads in part.