Temporary closure of Milimani Law Courts, Nairobi

  • 31 Jul 2020
  • < 1
  • 〜 by Francis Monyango

On 29th July, 2020 the President of the Supreme Court of Kenya issued a notice to the public indicating that Milimani Law Courts would be closed for the next fourteen days with effect from 30th July, 2020. The reason given is that some members of staff were exhibiting symptoms similar to those of the Covid-19 with one staff having tested positive.

This means that all physical court operations have been suspended.

A report released during the state of the Judiciary address in January 2020 by Chief Justice David Maraga pointed out that an average of 400,000 cases are filed annually while courts are able to dispose of about 300,000 cases a year. The caseload stands at 569,859 cases.

Whereas there is a critical shortage of magistrates and judges available to hear cases country-wide, another key issue has been the failure to adopt and integrate facilitative technology within the judiciary to enable fast tracking of pending cases.

Text Box: The Court of Appeal for the first time delivered decisions through a video link enable by Skype. At the Milimani High Court, Commercial Division Justice David Majanja delivered several rulings online, with the consent of parties. The parties waived compliance of rules that require all judgments and rulings to be pronounced in open court.
On March 20, Malindi Chief Magistrate Julie Oseko presided over court proceedings through video conferencing on Skype. The exercise which was conducted in conjunction with Malindi GK Prisons saw 157 matters handled by the court.
Source: Business Daily 29th March, 2020Perhaps, the Covid pandemic provides the Judiciary with a unique opportunity to review the structure or resource allocation towards creating an enabling infrastructure.