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CJ Koome: Judiciary committed to enhance access to justice for refugee population

Chief Justice Martha Koome during the launch of an Alternative Justice Systems model and e-filing system in Kakuma.

Chief Justice Martha Koome has reaffirmed the Judiciary’s commitment to ensuring that the courts are accessible to the refugee population.

Speaking during the launch of an Alternative Justice Systems model and e-filing system in Kakuma Town, Koome said the Juduciary will continue efforts to enhance access to justice for the most vulnerable in society.

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She noted that the rolling out e-filing of cases was a monumental step towards an accessible, people-centred justice system.

“It is also vital to acknowledge the commendable spirit of the residents of Kakuma in embracing refugees, who often stand on the precipice of vulnerability. Your sense of community and coexistence serves as a beacon for the entire nation,” she said at the Kakuma Law Courts.

“Should disputes arise, I urge you to utilize the avenues provided by the AJS or our courts, ensuring that conflicts remain rare and short-lived,” she added

CJ Koome pledged to gazette additional courts in Lokichar and Lokitaung, following a request by the leadership of Turkana County, led by Deputy Governor Dr John Erus.

She rooted for a multi-door approach to justice, in recognition of the wisdom in these traditional practices.

“By institutionalizing traditional justice mechanisms, we are not merely offering an alternative; we are celebrating our heritage. A heritage that believes in healing over hostility, in community over conflict.”

Speaking during the event , Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi said the launch of the justice initiatives would expand access to justice to a community that has historically been categorized among the marginalized in Kenya, owing to the adverse climatic conditions, a challenging terrain, and the distance from the nation’s capital.

“For decades, this community was served only by the court in Lodwar which is 120km from Kakuma, and even further from other parts of the expansive County. Since 2013, the people from around here have been able to access the Judiciary’s services in Kakuma following the establishment of this Court,” Amadi said.

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