CHALLENGES FACING THE JUDICIARY
The judicial system in its efforts to deliver to its core constitutional mandate of administering justice to the public, faces a number of challenges. Among them include: drastic budgetary cuts, pressure from the public for conviction of corruption cases, integrity issues by judges and other judicial officers, embroilment in politics.
The research aims at unearthing the root causes of the problems facing the judiciary and coming up with pragmatic solutions to the same.
With the general understanding that justice is a right due to everyone regardless of social class, position in the society, gender or any other form of diversity, it hence boils down that justice begins with everyone so that justice for one leads to justice for all, guided by the considerations in whatever one does so that he or she does not subvert justice.
Budgetary cuts have been at the core of the problems facing the judiciary, it being the financial engine for driving the entire system. The budgetary request by the judiciary for a 31 billion was met with a reduction by the treasury to 17.3 billion and a further drastic cut by parliament to almost less than half the amount requested bringing the figure to 14.5 billion. Alphonce. s.(12/12/18).The effect of this actions is: suspension in the construction of over 100 courts and rehabilitation works, impairment to training of judicial officers and staff, refurbishing of courtrooms, operation of mobile courts and sub-registries and digitization of court processes suffered a fatal blow including some functions getting paralyzed. The overall net effect being general impairment to access to justice.
Pressure from the public to have convictions on corruption cases brought before it. Samwel G.(July, 2019). It becomes a challenge in the sense that the public wants alleged corruption parties put behind bars while on the other hand, the court cannot convict an individual on the basis of shallow evidence brought before it by the prosecution as is the nature of a lot of evidence adduced. Consequently, the judiciary, before the eyes of the public and other arms of the government see it as not contributing to the fight against corruption.
Integrity issues by some of the judges and other judicial officers is another issue bedeviling the judiciary as evidenced by “disappearance of files” with the net effect being denial of justice especially to the poor in the society, thus making justice to be too expensive and far-fetched to the ordinary Kenyan.
Politics is another problem that has taken toll on the judiciary. Despite it being an independent arm of the government, more often than not, its decisions in form of rulings and injunctions on matters taken by other arms of the government especially the executive which are deemed to be in excess of the law have often been met with harsh political criticism and couter-reactions that impact negatively on the judiciary as seen by budgetary cuts by both the executive and the national assembly not forgetting the infamous statement “we shall re-visit” by the current head of state, following nullification of the 2017 election results by the supreme court.
In conclusion, it is evidence that with the current trend in the sad state of the judiciary, unless there is good will from all arms of the government and the public in supporting the efforts of the judiciary with the understanding that an effective and well- functioning judiciary means deliverance of justice in an effective manner to all but most importantly the poor in the society, the judiciary is a sinking boat whose retrieval will almost be impossible.
Alphonce s.(12/12/2018).Long road to independence
Samuel G.(July,2019), with zero high profile convictions, kenya’s war on corruption falters.