East African Court of Justice, 21st June 2023: The Principal Judge Hon. Justice Yohane Masara together with the Deputy Registrar Her Worship Christine Mutimura, received a delegation from the Judiciary Committee on Elections (JCE) from the Republic of Kenya, led by Hon. Justice Daniel Musinga, President of the Court of Appeal and Vice Chair of the Committee.
Justice Musinga informed the Court that the purpose of the visit is to learn from the EACJ valuable lessons given its extensive experience in virtual sessions with a focus on recording and transcribing of Court proceedings. The Honourable Judge also briefed the EACJ on the role of the Judiciary Committee on Election (JCE) which is to provide a mechanism to assist the Judiciary prepare for and discharge its mandate on election dispute resolutions. He said that the Committee draws its members from different levels of the Judiciary including Judges, Magistrates and other Judicial Officers.
The EACJ Principal Judge Hon. Justice Yohane Masara in his remarks, welcomed the delegation to the EACJ and said it was an honour that the Court’s automation of its processes continues to inspire judiciaries from the Region to do the same and even better. He said that following the COVID-19 pandemic, the EACJ was the first Court in the region to go online and this allowed the Court to undertake its mandate successfully when most institutions struggled to provide their services during the lock-down. He informed the delegation that although the Court is not a fully-fledged e-court, it currently operates a hybrid model for its Court sessions whereby Judges sit physically in Court and Lawyers can choose to appear virtually or in person, which has greatly facilitated access to Justice in the region.
The delegation from the Judiciary of Kenya also updated the EACJ on the ongoing automation processes that is currently transforming Kenya’s Judiciary into a fully-fledged e-Court. The meeting was informed that the automation initiatives piloted in some of the Courts in Kenya have made the Courts more efficient, cost effective, accountable and ensured that their processes are streamlined.
The Deputy Registrar and staff of the Court also had an opportunity to brief the delegation from the Judiciary of Kenya on the Court’s mandate, it’s jurisprudence, challenges, as well as the progress made in implementing the Court’s decisions by the Partner States. Also highlighted was the Court’s increasing case backlog that is brought about by the limited budget allocation for the convening of Court Sessions.
At the conclusion of the visit, his Lordship Justice Masara once again thanked the delegation for their visit and commended the Judiciary Committee on Elections (JCE) for their work of ensuring the peaceful settlement of electoral disputes through the Court System. He said both the EACJ and the Judiciary of Kenya have a lot to learn from each other as they endeavor to ensure access to justice and uphold the rule of law and other principles of good governance as enshrined in the Treaty for the establishment of the East African Community.
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