Chief Justice Martha Koome on Tuesday rallied Kenyans to embrace Alternative Justice Systems saying oftentimes they have better justice outcomes than courts.
She observed the traditional adversarial system of justice, while critical, is not the sole mechanism for the resolution of disputes.
“I urge all of us to open our hearts and minds to embrace a multi-door approach to justice. This approach broadens our perception of justice, accommodating alternative forms of dispute resolution that can often be more effective, conciliatory, and efficient in delivering justice.” She said during a visit to Mandera county
Koome disclosed that she “considers adoption of Alternative Justice Systems beneficial because it is closer to the people, more affordable, easier to access, familiar, and less bureaucratic.
In her view, AJS also serves as a form of restorative justice. Due to its participatory nature, she said the alternative justice system ensures more social inclusion.
CJ further observed that they “prevent injustice and reduce harm suffered by people by focusing on root causes of injustice and on justice needs of entire communities and societies rather than just individuals.”
She said the benefits of these alternative approaches to justice cannot be overstated and invited Kenyans to use them to resolve their disputes.
“They save time and resources, reduce the burden on courts, and foster a sense of ownership and satisfaction among the disputing parties. They are based on dialogue, negotiation, reconciliation, and restorative justice, encouraging us to see justice not just as a punitive measure, but also as a constructive and healing process.” She said