Judiciary set to clear children cases

The Judiciary has launched the annual Judicial Service Week to clear pending children’s matters in all court stations by December this year.

Speaking during the launch at Makadara Law Courts in Nairobi, Court of Appeal Judge Martha Koome said all Court stations across the Country have been instructed to ensure that all children matters are heard within the time set aside.

Justice Koome who is also the Chairperson of the National Council on Administration of Justice (NCAJ) Special Task Force on Children Matters said the Judiciary is committed to the protection of children and will support programmes that are geared towards ensuring that children’s cases are processed expeditiously.

She urged the Probation and the Children’s Departments to come out strongly to support the Taskforce in fastracking children’s cases.

“The child should grow up in the family that should ensure they are provided for. Children need to be guided so that they become useful members of the community,” Justice Koome said.

The US State Department of Justice pledged to support the Judiciary in ensuring that children cases are heard and determined expeditiously and in accordance to the Children Act to ensure that those in conflict with the law are not negatively affected by the judicial processes.

The Department’s representative Stacy de la Torre said there is need to create a juvenile justice system that holds young offenders accountable for their actions, provides for their rehabilitation, protects them from harm, increases their life chances and manages the risks they pose to themselves and to the public safety.

“Together we can create a fair and effective juvenile system that enhances public safety, gives a good return on public investments and reflects our society’s deep belief in redemptive possibilities for people who have made mistakes,” De La Torre said.

Makadara Chief Magistrate Emily Ominde, who is also a Commissioner at the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), urged parties with children’s matters to turn up at the courts across the country to facilitate the hearing and determination of the cases during the service week.  At Makadara Law Courts, 51 Children’s matters will be heard and determined, 33 of which involve children in conflict with the law.

The courts commenced the exercise on November 6 and are expected to conclude the hearing of the matters on November 17.