CJ Martha Koome officially assumes office at Supreme Court building

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.


“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.


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