COVID-19: Kenyan Courts Deliver 7,000 Judgements Digitally

Courts in Kenya delivered over 7,000 judgement by electronic means during the COVID-19 restrictions in the country, Chief Justice David Maraga has said.

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted everyday activities globally, with countries forced to impose lockdowns and restriction of movement. Courts had also switched to the hearing of cases digitally to avoid the delay of justice.

Chief Justice Maraga, who received computer donations from the European Union (EU), noted that the pandemic has “provided an opportunity for us in the justice sector to reflect on how to address the current gaps related to technology in the enhancement of justice.”

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Court proceedings in Kenya have been altered due to the crisis. Some cases are heard in open spaces in efforts to limit the risk of spreading the virus in the country; cases have been heard on video conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Skype.

However, Maraga – who doubles as Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court of Kenya – noted that digital operations in the justice sector had not reached the required levels.

“It may take a while to reach a critical level of operations but with determination, we will enhance our services using technological platforms available,” he said.

By Friday, Kenya had reported 36,724 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 646 deaths, according to data published by the ministry of health.

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The East African country is one of only eight in Africa to register more than 30,000 COVID-19 cases.

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