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CJ Koome opens Employment and Labour Relations Court Annual Symposium

Chief Justice Martha Koome.

The Employment and Labour Relations Annual Symposium and Exhibition (ELRASE) kicked-off in Nairobi on Monday.

The Symposium saw the court and its stakeholders celebrate 10 years of judicial service delivery to Kenyans.

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Speaking at the event Chief Justice Martha Koome said the Judiciary has established three divisions to enable the institution tackle the challenges of the ELRC’s caseload effectively and delivering justice without delay.

She said the Judiciary has taken decisive steps to accelerate service delivery in the capital by creating the Judicial Review & Labour Rights, the Appeals Division, and the Claims and Labour Relations division.

The Chief Justice said the court has made contributions to the growing body of social justice jurisprudence through the recognition of domestic workers as employees entitled to minimum wages, social security, and other benefits.

She also revealed the Judiciary has extended the reach of the ELRC across the country by establishing 10 ELRC stations and an additional 11 sub-registries to increase access to justice.

The Chief Justice said that increasing footprint of the Court is a testament to the Judiciary’s pledge to take justice closer to the people, to ensure that every Kenyan, no matter where they live, has access to fair and impartial judgement.

She urged the ELRC to strive towards becoming the model employment court in Africa, a shining example for others to emulate. Further, she asked the Court to prioritize the 2,293 cases that have been pending in the court for over three years for resolution by December of this year.

“Let us continue to develop progressive social justice jurisprudence, to innovate in service delivery, and to leverage technology to become a fully digital court,” said the CJ.

She commended the court for posting an impressive Case Clearance Rate of 168 per cent in the third quarter of the 2022/2023 financial year and reduction of case backlog by 18 per cent, terming it a beacon of efficiency.

She urged the Court to continue working closely with stakeholders in the labour industry through the Court User Committees (CUCs), to ensure that Kenya’s justice system is responsive and adaptive to the changing realities of our labour market.

Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu urged delegates to reflect on the place of the court and all its key stakeholders in relation to the Social Transformation through Access to Justice (STAJ) vision towards developing realistic, contextual & sustainable strategies through which dispensation of justice in this critical area can be substantively improved.

She said harmonious industrial relations and a conducive work and business environment are central to our individual and national development.

The four-day symposium is themed: The Place of Employment of Labour Relations Court in Promoting Social Justice and Economic Prosperity.

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