Kenya: CJ Koome Says Judiciary Needs More Funds to Function Effectively

Nairobi Kenya — Chief Justice Martha Koome says the Judiciary is not operating optimally due to significant budgetary, and human resource constraints.

Speaking during the launch of the State of the Judiciary report, Koome said the Judiciary was only given Sh18 billion for the financial year 2021-2022, of which Sh15.9 billion was designated for ongoing costs and Sh2.1 billion for the development budget.

She stated that this only accounts for 0.6% of the overall national budget and a very minor portion of the funds given to the Executive and the Parliament.

“Additionally, it falls well short of the recommended worldwide standard of allocating 3% of the national budget to the judiciaries,” she said.

President William Ruto has already pledged to ensure the Judiciary’s annual budget is increased.

“My administration will scale up the budgetary allocation to the judiciary by an additional Sh3 billion annually for the next five years,” Ruto said during his inauguration speech at Kasarani and reiterated the same on Friday.

According to Koome, the president’s decision to put into effect steps to improve the historical underfunding of the Judiciary will provide millions of Kenyans seeking justice across the nation a reprieve.

“We, therefore, look forward to working with your excellency as guided by the spirit of cooperative dialogue and responsibility sharing as envisaged in the Constitution to ensure access to justice for all,” she added.

She said that there is still a long way to go before all counties have high court judges, judges of the Environment and Land Court, judges of the Employment and Labour Relations Court, magistrates who sit in sub-counties, and judges who adjudicate cases in small claim courts across the nation.

“Addressing the human resource constraint in this regard is one of the areas where we are seeking the continued support of the Executive and Parliament,” she said.

Koome said it is a truism that the performance of the Judiciary’s mandate is pegged foremost on having adequate and motivated personnel to deliver judicial and support services.

“We need the continued support of the Executive and Parliament to address the human resource constraints prevailing in the Judiciary,” she said.

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