Chief Justice Martha Koome has urged Kenyans to embrace Court-Annexed Mediation and Alternative Justice to resolve disputes.
During the launch Alternative Justice Systems (AJS) ‘Ukumbi’ Suite at the Mpeketoni Law Courts In her speech.
“Alternative Dispute Resolution is a powerful tool in our quest to promote access to justice. We must embrace Court-Annexed Mediation and Alternative Justice Systems as a means of resolving disputes amicably and efficiently,” she said.
She highlighted that Court Annexed Mediation (CAM) is one of the multi-door approaches that affords a number of advantages to litigants. The Judiciary introduced CAM in April 2016, in an effort to alleviate case backlog and in line with Article 159 (2) (c) of the Constitution which mandates the Judiciary to promote Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
“We are also committed to posting an ELC Judge once we have set up the new High Court building. In the meantime, let us make use of AJS and Court Annexed Mediation in addition to the Court system to resolve some of these land disputes,” she said.
The pilot phase of CAM was initiated at the Family and Commercial Divisions of the High Court at Milimani, and came to an end in July 2017. The then Chief Justice David Maraga gazetted the Mediation Taskforce to oversee the roll out of CAM to the rest of the country.
Since the inception of CAM, a total of 11,856 matters have been referred to court annexed mediation, with a value of Sh56,610,490,722. Out of these, 4,937 matters have been concluded successfully, with a value of Sh15,938,506,914 released back into the economy.
In Court Annexed Mediation, the mediator is one who is accredited by the Mediation Accreditation Committee, and the process is monitored by the court.
The Chief Justice noted that Court Annexed Mediation offers a space where deeper truths that give rise to a conflict are heard, and compassion is extended as parties work collaboratively to resolve their disputes.
The process is friendly and respects the voice of litigants. It is designed to restore relationships by healing wounds through the participation of the litigants themselves.
With its success in reducing case backlog and improving the business environment in the country, Court Annexed Mediation has become a crucial approach towards enhancing access to justice for all.
Suluhu Mediation Centre(SMC) has played a key role in training and mentorship of renown private and court annexed mediation practitioners.
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