Chief Justice Martha Koome has officially assumed office at the Supreme Court building.
The Judiciary on Monday hosted an Assumption of Office ceremony to hand over Instruments of Power to the new Chief Justice.
Speaking during the ceremony, the new CJ has pledged to work closely with all the stakeholders including the other two arms of government.
” During my interview, I shared my vision of the judiciary that is independent, efficient, accessible and responsive to the aspirations of Kenyans and a true guardian of the rule of law. my team will build working relationships with other actors in the administration of justice; to reach our court users and other parties with a view of building their capacity with knowledge that will empower them to bear their own agency and to become champions for justice.” she said
” When everybody becomes an agent and champion for justice, I believe this country will start looking for our own indigenous solutions that lead to reconciliation and peace. Moreover, many will avoid violence, conflict and other pitfalls or black spots that lead to endless court cases.” she added
She noted that the country was grappling with unacceptably high levels of case backlog.
Read here CJ SPEECH ASSUMPTION OF OFFICE
“We are still grappling with unacceptably high levels of case backlog despite the efforts of the last ten (10)years that had significantly reduced the number of old cases. CJ Maraga’s tenure focused on all courts concluding all cases that were five (5)years old and above. We will continue that trajectory and ensure that at any given time, no case should be in the justice system for longer than three (3) years. This is a target that is possible to achieve if we all embraced a case management system and the multi-door approaches that are now available to us such as the court users committees, court annexed mediation, small claims court and alternative justice systems.” She noted
Justice Martha Koome was on Friday sworn in as the country’s new Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court of Kenya at a historic ceremony witnessed by President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi.
She becomes the 15th Chief Justice and the first female to ascend to the highest judicial office in Kenya’s history.
During her swearing in, she said that she is committed to ensure that the independence of the Judiciary is upheld at all cost.
Koome stated that it was her mandate to protect the independence of the Judiciary, while at the same time ensure appropriate cooperation with the other arms of government in a bid to ensure that judicial functions are supported for smooth delivery of timely justice.
“No one should however direct how the Judiciary should decide on a matter would be in violation of the Constitution,” Koome said, adding that each and every person however has a responsibility in ensuring that all are champions for justice.
She asserted that the Judiciary has the mandate to make independent decisions how it hires its staff, and that independence must be protected and reinforced as per the Constitution.
She stated that the three arms must work co currently in ensuring that Kenyans are served justice appropriately.
The CJ noted that the Judiciary and the Executive cannot work together when the chain is broken and emphasized on the need for the Executive to allocate adequate funding to the judiciary.
The CJ who was alluding to the rift between the Judiciary and the Executive asserted on the need for unity and said that reconciliation is key in any Country that seeks to find solutions, asserting that solutions can only be found from within.
“I will emphasize on structured reconciliation because this is our country and whatever is not working we must fix,” she said, adding that Kenyans must embrace alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to resolve conflicts even as she committed to do her best to deliver justice.