Chief Justice Martha Koome Tuesday took the discussion on the strides Kenya is making with the use of e-courts to make justice more accessible to the Commonwealth Technology Conference.
During the virtual meeting, CJ Koome spelt out actions the Kenyan Judiciary is taking such as the use of Huduma Centers to facilitate access to the Internet for e-filling and virtual courts, the other is the use of Constituency Innovation Hubs.
The CJ in addition said that she will ensure services can be accessed through mobile-friendly formats, given that Kenya has a relatively high uptake of smart phones.
“We will also provide litigants with notification of court dates through SMS,” she said.
The other strategy to make justice accessible according to CJ Koome is to undertake the phased roll-out of online services depending on regional access to reliable internet bandwidth and electricity supply.
“An added approach involves inter-agency virtual booths/centres in prisons to enable remandees attend court proceedings virtually with guaranteed access to computers and the Internet.”
Further the CJ said the Judiciary has ensured that all court websites (including e-filing platforms) are designed with mobile-friendly interfaces to make it possible for someone to successfully complete all necessary steps on a smart phone or tablet.
“The next phase of our Digitisation Agenda, in which we’re working with Google, will include tackling some of the barriers to access facing various vulnerable groups within the society with deployment of technology booths with special assistant devices within court premises,” she added.
In finality, the CJ noted that the Judiciary also undertakes training programmes for litigants to ensure they know how to use e-filling and other platforms.
“The training programmes also incorporate the Bar who are a key stakeholder amongst court users.”
The CJ was joined by Supreme Court Judge Isaac Lenaola who is the Chairman of the Judiciary’s ICT and Integrated Court Management Systems Committee.