The narrative that the courts in Kenya are the weak link in the fight against corruption has been repeated often. It is believed that the corrupt have been manipulating this weak link to get away with embezzling public funds and using the same to fight back against the justice system. Accordingly, the alarm was raised resulting in deliberate pressure on the one arm of government, to step in and help curb the corruption crippling our economy.
The Judiciary has instituted a number of reforms to enhance judicial efficiency and service delivery. Among these reforms is the digitization of court records in collaboration with the Ministry of ICT, Innovations, and Youth Affairs. The digitization will eliminate the usually time-consuming physical search for court files and other court records.
The exercise will see the comprehensive capture of court cases into the Court tracking system of 146 court stations across the country. It will involve scanning and name-tagging of all files and uploading them onto the case tracking system with the data entry and scanning complementing the e-filing system.
The exercise aims at improving the ease and traceability of court records and ensuring the provision of an information repository for stakeholders and beneficiaries. More importantly, it will enhance efficiency and access to justice by ensuring the ready availability of case files to advocates, easing the preparation of files to save time, and reducing the backlog of cases.
For judges and magistrates, it will ease access to transcribed court records hence facilitating faster determination of cases. The system will also facilitate virtual court sessions recently embraced in the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The program is currently being piloted in Kisumu, Mombasa, and Nairobi after which it will be rolled out across the country.