Chief Justice Martha Koome has taken a significant step towards improving the efficiency of the judicial system with the introduction of new guidelines aimed at expediting the payment of fines and cash bail.
These guidelines address the concerns of court users and harness technology to streamline the process.
One notable change is that the processing of payments will now occur in open court, increasing transparency.
This move is in line with the Judiciary’s adoption of technology using the Case Management System, which enables electronic payment of court fees, fines, and deposits.
This system not only generates online invoices and receipts but also simplifies the entire payment process.
To ensure the timely processing of fines and bail, the guidelines require that pleas must be registered by 9:00 am. In cases where this is not feasible, Court Users’ Committees will provide guidance.
Additionally, every plea-taking court will have two Court Assistants. The first assistant will support the magistrate with various court duties, while the second assistant will handle the processing of fine and cash bail payments.
This includes generating invoices, providing copies to the accused, and facilitating payments through the online portal.
Moreover, accused individuals who cannot make payments in open court will receive an invoice and be given a reasonable period to settle their fines or cash bail. Committal warrants will be prepared for those who fail to pay by 4:00 pm on the day of their plea.
Efforts have also been made to ensure financial controls are maintained, with each court station having an accountant responsible for daily revenue collection reconciliation.
The Judiciary’s Directorate of ICT is committed to automating these processes within 30 days, enhancing efficiency and accessibility.
These guidelines represent a significant step towards a more streamlined and technology-driven judicial system, ensuring timely and transparent handling of fines and cash bail, ultimately benefiting court users and the administration of justice.